(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Mila Jasey, Troy Singleton, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Annette Quijano to impose financial sanctions on Iran in an effort to stymie its nuclear capacity was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
“The threat that Iran’s enrichment program poses to the prospect of long-term stability in the Middle East cannot be understated,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “One of the greatest things we can do for our ally Israel is to use the resources within our power to pressure those who would threaten its security, Iran being chief among them right now. This bill would help deny Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism or to fund the development and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and I think that’s something we should all support.”
The legislation (A-2146) would prohibit all state and local entities from doing business with individuals or companies that engage in certain investment activities in the energy, financial or construction sectors of Iran. The bill follows the direction of the July 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act signed into law by President Obama which expressly authorizes states and local governments to prevent investment in companies operating in Iran.
Specifically, the bill would prohibit state and local contracting units, boards of education, and county colleges from contracting with individuals or entities engaged in certain investment activities in the energy, financial or construction sectors of Iran.
“We need to stand up for what’s right and stand against what’s wrong, and Iran’s threats to Israel and global security is unquestionably something we should all stand against,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “This is one small part of a larger effort to contain Iran and send it a message that the financial spigot will be turned off if it continues its threatening activities. The almighty dollar often talks loudest, and New Jersey with this bill is sounding a loud and clear message in support of Israel and against those who would threaten freedom across the globe.”
“This bill supports the policy of the United States to deny Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism or fund the development and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “New Jersey must stand tall and stand clear against Iran and its threats toward Israel and liberty. This bill makes clear that those who support Iran will not have the support of New Jersey.”
“New Jersey can send a message with this bill that it supports Israel and stands strong against Iran’s threats of terrorism and war-like stance against our ally,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “This is a clear signal that those who support Iran’s ability to arm itself with a nuclear weapon will not be supported by the taxpayers of this state. It’s the right and moral thing to do.”
“New Jersey has taken similar steps against atrocities in the Sudan, and while we realize this alone won’t stop Iran’s efforts, this will be a part of a larger effort to bring peace to the Middle East and protect Israel’s right to exist,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Threats of weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated against our allies, and money is a global language. By helping dry up financial support for Iran, we will be taking a step toward protecting our friend, Israel.”
The bill was unanimously released by the Assembly State Government Committee.