Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law this week a bill that prohibits California-based insurers from investing in companies with financial ties to Iran’s energy sector. It is the latest state law enacted to hinder Iran’s nuclear program.
Co-authored by Assembly members Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) and Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), the new law forbids California-based insurance companies from scoring as assets any investments in companies that do business with Iran’s energy sector.
“It’s an important piece of legislation,” said Michael Sweet, chairman of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee, which lobbied for the law. “This was our top priority for the year, and it shows that California is a leader in standing against the government of Iran.”
California had already compiled a list of companies with financial ties to Iran. This list is the basis for disallowing certain investments by insurers as ineligible assets under AB 2160. Approximately 160 companies would be affected.
In 2009, the insurance commissioner found that California insurers held $2 billion in indirect investments in companies tied to Iran.
Sweet hopes other states will follow California’s lead. “We as a country should apply as much pressure as we can on this regime to make it accountable,” he said. — dan pine