Koch Industries bypassed Iran sanctions


Koch Industries went to great lengths to bypass U.S. laws banning dealings with Iran until 2007, according to a report.

Koch’s practice, revealed this week in a Bloomberg News report, was to use overseas subsidiaries. Other U.S. companies, notably General Electric, used the same loophole.

The Bloomberg revelations suggest, however, that Koch took steps to cover up dealings that would have been illegal, even before the loopholes were closed.

“Your staff shall send this form to me since I have to send it to the lawyers in the USA as part of the compliance program,” Elena Rigon, a company lawyer, wrote European managers in a 2000 memo. “If somebody happens to find out that any U.S. persons are involved in this project or U.S. material is delivered to Iran, you CANNOT quote.”

In response to the Bloomberg story, Koch noted that the practice was legal during the covered period.

More recent iterations of U.S. Iran sanctions laws have closed the loopholes.

The Koch brothers, Charles and David, are major givers to the Republican Party and to the conservative Tea Party movement, although they have also donated to Democrats. GE was a major donor to President Obama’s campaign.

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