Tags: Perry | Texas | Iran

Texas Gov. Asks State to Divest from Iran

Wednesday, 26 Sep 2007 04:11 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked the state’s largest public pension funds to stop investing in firms that do business in Iran because of that nation’s support of state-sponsored terrorism.

Perry also asked the $24.9 billion Employee Retirement System and the $108 billion Teachers Retirement System to withdraw investments from some of the companies with links to Iran, Bloomberg.com reports.

“While Texas cannot set its own foreign policy, we can send a strong message that Texans will not condone Iran’s continued support of those seeking to do harm to our men and women in uniform,” Perry said in a news release issued on Tuesday.

Perry has already signed a bill to pull pension investments from companies operating in Sudan because of the genocide in the Darfur region. A similar bill covering Iran was not passed by the legislature, and Perry now says he may call a special legislative session to revisit the issue.

A spokeswoman for the Employee Retirement System, MaryJane Wardlow, said: “Staff will research the most appropriate process for identifying companies that meet the definition of doing business with Iran and submit information to the [pension fund’s] board, which will present recommendations to the governor.”

As NewsMax has reported, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would sign legislation to end his state’s investment in companies that do business with Iran.

The bill, passed earlier this month by the California Legislature, would ban the nation's two largest public pension funds - the California Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System - from investing in companies that work on defense or nuclear projects or are involved in developing Iranian petroleum or natural gas resources.

And the board governing Florida's public employee retirement fund has authorized it to divest nearly $1.3 billion invested with 21 companies doing business in Iran or Sudan.

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