Columbia University this week managed to hand a PR victory to Iran's
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It's time for another New York institution - the
state Office of the Comptroller - to join the drive to undermine this evil and
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to sign a new law aimed at
banning Golden State public pension funds - which includes the two largest ones
in America - from investing in companies that are involved in developing Iranian
petroleum or natural-gas resources. Florida's public-employee-retirement fund is
divesting nearly $1.3 billion invested with 21 companies doing business in Iran
or Sudan. (California already hit Sudan's pocketbook last year.) Missouri and
Louisiana have similar policies in place.
The blow to Iran's rulers should be huge. The California system alone has
assets totaling $350 billion - much of it invested in companies that do business
with Iran such as Sieman's, Total, Respol and Shell.Here in New York, state
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has total power over the state pension funds. He
could add materially to the pressure on Iran simply by the stroke of a pen. City
Comptroller William Thompson Jr. could help, by pushing to move Gotham pension
funds away from Iranian-investing companies.
City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera (D-Bronx) is sponsoring a
resolution calling on the state and the city to disinvest in companies that do
business with Iran. He says that more than $100 billion of the holdings by New
York public pension funds are invested directly or indirectly in Iran.
It is time to help all you New Yorkers, please contact your assembly