November 19, 2018

California Assemblymen to put pressure on corporations dealing with Iran

As the international Jewish community becomes increasingly skeptical about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assertion that he has no intention of pursuing nuclear weapon capabilities, California assembly members Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) announced Tuesday that in January, they will introduce legislation that would prohibit California public entities from doing business with corporations that have contracts with Iran’s energy sector.

To raise awareness of their legislation, Feuer and Blumenfield made their announcement in a press conference in front of Beverly Hills City Hall. Leaders and members of various Jewish organizations, including Stephen S. Wise Temple, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish Labor Committee and the American Jewish Committee were in attendance and responded with applause.

“Given the size of California’s economy,” Feuer said, “we have an essential role to play in this international effort to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Companies that support Iran’s ambitions have a choice,” he said. “They either continue in that support or they will risk the loss of the support of California’s taxpayers.”

Blumenfield posed this question to multi-national companies: “Do they want to participate in a rogue regime, or do they want to participate in the eighth largest economy in the world, California?”

Feur and Blumenfield said they hope that other states will draft similar legislation.

“I challenge every other state in this country to follow our lead,” Blumenfield said.

The press conference comes on the heels of the passage in the House of Representatives last week of the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which, like Feur and Blumenfield’s legislation, allows state and local governments to divest from companies doing business in Iran’s energy sector. Similar legislation has also been introduced in the Senate.