April 28, 2009

House committee passes Iran divestment bill

The House Financial Services Committee just unanimously approved by voice vote H.R. 1327, the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009.  The bill authorizes state and local governments to divest public funds from companies doing business in Iran.
NIAC President Trita Parsi testified before a Financial Services Subcommittee last month, urging Congress to put the divestment effort on hold until diplomacy is given a chance to succeed.

After a decade-and-a-half of failed sanctions and economic pressure, and three decades of hostility, it is not sanctions or divestment that deserves another chance. It is diplomacy – and the opportunity to use the leverage that sanctions provide in the context of a negotiation – that should be given the space and time to succeed.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) said he expects the bill to go up for a vote before the full House, and that it will most likely gain a significant number of more cosponsors in the meantime.

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