FEB. 29, 2008 - MA DELEG. MEMBERS SUPPORT DIVESTING MA PENSION FUNDS FROM COMPANIES SUPPORTING IRAN

Six Congressmen Support Passage of House Bill 4270

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today led a group of Massachusetts congressmen in urging the the Massachusetts State Treasurer and leaders of the State House and Senate to support efforts to ensure Massachusetts taxpayer money in the state pension fund is not invested in Iran’s energy industry. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran is aggressively pursuing nuclear technology in violation of its international safeguards agreement, and only concerted international action can prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

"Foreign investment in Iran's energy sector, including the approximately $400 million Massachusetts has invested in these companies, generates a significant proportion of Iran's foreign currency, which enables them to pursue their nuclear ambitions. Divesting from these countries, as called for by State Rep. Tony Cabral and Sen. Joan Menard in House Bill 4270 is an important step Massachusetts can take to help prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capability," said Rep. Markey, founder and Co-Chairman of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation.

 

The letter, also signed by Massachusetts Congressmen Barney Frank, Richard Neal, John Olver, John McGovern and Stephen Lynch, endorses House Bill 4270 as legislation that balances the important investment needs of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM), with efforts to pressure Iran to end its nuclear program. Other states, including Florida and California, have taken similar actions.

 

"Curtailing the significant investments by our state pension funds in foreign companies who choose to support Iran is a simple, effective, and peaceful means to exert pressure against nuclear proliferation," states the lawmakers' letter.

The full text of the members’ letter is available HERE.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836