'Sanctions multipliers' to give Iran sanctions some bite

Rick Moran
An interesting bill has been introduced by brand new Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) regarding some add ons to the sanctions regime already in place against the Iranian mullahs.

The bill would require companies whose affiliates or subsidiaries who do business with Iran to list those activities on their SEC filings:

The Iran Transparency and Accountability Act (ITA), which was introduced in the House last week, would force publicly traded companies to list in their regular filings all business dealings -- including the revenues and profits -- that their subsidiaries and affiliates have in Iran that could be covered by various sanctions. Already on board as co-sponsors are several top Republicans and Democrats from the Foreign Affairs Committee, but the author is someone in office just three months, Rep. Ted Deutch, Florida Democrat.Given the complexity of far-flung multinational conglomerates, sometimes the only people who can document various investments are the corporate attorneys who submit Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Even then, the paper trail can be murky. But that is why such legislation would greatly advance the ability of government investigators to piece together who owns what and where.

Not all the business dealings from subsidiaries and affiliates covered by the ITA would necessarily be impermissible under the new sanctions legislation, but all listed activities certainly would draw scrutiny from a very important audience: investors.

The SEC would be required to establish a website with a searchable database of listed activities, which is a powerful tool for activists and investors alike. "Simply being on that list will encourage companies to behave responsibly and enhance national security," Mr. Deutch explains.

There are moves afoot all across the country - universities, states, and big pension funds - to divest holdings of all companies who do business with Iran. The ITA would be a useful tool for the managers of those funds to discover who is assisting the mullahs in doing an end run around sanctions. At stake for Tehran, tens - perhaps hundreds - of billions in investments that would be off the table.

Such divestment drives have an uneven history. It is generally believed that the divestment of companies who did business with South Africa assisted in isolating Pretoria and probably did some good. Divestment directed against Israel, on the other hand, has been much less successful and probably won't amount to much anyway.

These "sanction multipliers" are a welcome addition in the effort to deny the mullahs legitimacy. It almost certainly won't stop or slow down their drive for nuclear weapons. But continued damage to their economy may assist forces in the green movement who wish to kick the mullahs out of power.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky


An interesting bill has been introduced by brand new Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) regarding some add ons to the sanctions regime already in place against the Iranian mullahs.

The bill would require companies whose affiliates or subsidiaries who do business with Iran to list those activities on their SEC filings:

The Iran Transparency and Accountability Act (ITA), which was introduced in the House last week, would force publicly traded companies to list in their regular filings all business dealings -- including the revenues and profits -- that their subsidiaries and affiliates have in Iran that could be covered by various sanctions. Already on board as co-sponsors are several top Republicans and Democrats from the Foreign Affairs Committee, but the author is someone in office just three months, Rep. Ted Deutch, Florida Democrat.

Given the complexity of far-flung multinational conglomerates, sometimes the only people who can document various investments are the corporate attorneys who submit Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Even then, the paper trail can be murky. But that is why such legislation would greatly advance the ability of government investigators to piece together who owns what and where.

Not all the business dealings from subsidiaries and affiliates covered by the ITA would necessarily be impermissible under the new sanctions legislation, but all listed activities certainly would draw scrutiny from a very important audience: investors.

The SEC would be required to establish a website with a searchable database of listed activities, which is a powerful tool for activists and investors alike. "Simply being on that list will encourage companies to behave responsibly and enhance national security," Mr. Deutch explains.

There are moves afoot all across the country - universities, states, and big pension funds - to divest holdings of all companies who do business with Iran. The ITA would be a useful tool for the managers of those funds to discover who is assisting the mullahs in doing an end run around sanctions. At stake for Tehran, tens - perhaps hundreds - of billions in investments that would be off the table.

Such divestment drives have an uneven history. It is generally believed that the divestment of companies who did business with South Africa assisted in isolating Pretoria and probably did some good. Divestment directed against Israel, on the other hand, has been much less successful and probably won't amount to much anyway.

These "sanction multipliers" are a welcome addition in the effort to deny the mullahs legitimacy. It almost certainly won't stop or slow down their drive for nuclear weapons. But continued damage to their economy may assist forces in the green movement who wish to kick the mullahs out of power.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky