Multiple companies currently exploring new business ventures in Iran are also cashing in on highly lucrative contracts with the U.S. Defense Department, raising questions about whether their dealings with Iran could run afoul of U.S. law.
At least 13 major international companies have said in recent weeks that they aim to reenter the Iranian marketplace over the next several months. The companies have received Pentagon contracts totaling well over $107 billion, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis that tracked DoD contracts awarded since fiscal year 2009.
These companies include Boeing and General Electric—which have DoD contracts worth $87 and $12 billion respectively—as well as the Italian oil company Eni, Merck, Safran, Vitol, Bosch Rexroth, Sanofi Pastuer, and AVL.
While U.S. law has banned companies with federal contracts from doing business with Iran, a provision in the recently signed interim nuclear deal relaxed economic sanctions and provided a temporary window for companies to do limited business with Tehran.
The interim deal does not stipulate which companies can legally do business with Iran. However, it does outline permissible trade relationships.
One senior Senate aide who works on the sanctions issue said that the Obama administration is sending a hypocritical message to the world by not cracking down on federal contractors.
“How is Congress supposed to take Wendy Sherman and [Treasury Department official] David Cohen seriously when mega defense contractors are among those companies heading back into Iran?” asked the source. “If the administration really wanted to enforce existing sanctions, they’d start by sending a shot across the bow at companies that get billions of dollars from the U.S. Government.”
Full article: Pentagon Contractors Exploring Business with Iran (Washington Free Beacon)