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Colorado sanctions Iran

Rick KornfeldTHE Jewish Community Relations Council announced May 24 that Colorado became the ninth state to adopt the state-level Iran sanctions.

Partnering with the American Jewish Committee, the JCRC advocated for state-level sanctions against Iran based on the California model.

This was the next step in the agreement that JCRC helped broker with Colorado PERA (Public Employees’ Retirement Association) a few years ago to divest its assets from Iran.

“The possibility of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism nearing acquisition of the world’s most lethal weapons technology is a profoundly disturbing development,” said Rick Kornfeld, JCRC chair.

“Presenting an existential threat against Israel and the rest of the world, it is incumbent upon all those who value world peace to do everything they can to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. A nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize the entire region.”

On April 22, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that he would propose a resolution to establish state-level Iran sanctions at the AIPAC annual brunch.

House Joint Resolution (HB 12-1024), “Concerning Divestment from Iran for its Continued Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons,” was introduced. The bill was sponsored by House Speaker Frank McNulty, House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, Senate President Brandon Shaffer and Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman.

On Wednesday, May 9, the resolution unanimously passed in the House and Senate.

“We applaud Colorado’s state leadership for passing this critical piece of legislation that encourages state divestment in Iran,” said Chad Asarch, former JCRC chair.

“By passing this resolution, Colorado sends an important signal that aligns with U.S. sanctions against Iran.

“We wish to thank AJC and JCRC member and former State Rep. Joel Judd, who brought the sanctions proposal to JCRC. Working with The Capstone Group, JCRC’s state lobbyists, we led the charge to get this bill into committee and through the adoption process during the 2012 session.”

THE sanctions are meant to cut any financial deals with Iran’s state oil and tanker enterprises, stripping the country of its oil revenues that support Iran’s nuclear program.

“JCRC is the common table where nearly 40 Jewish organizations come together to discuss and debate issues that our community faces at home and around the world,” said federation president and CEO Doug Seserman.

“We are proud that the state of Colorado supports the US sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring the nuclear weapons that threaten Israel’s safety and ultimately, the safety of world.

“This is but one example of how the JCRC impacts global safety and security issues around the world. We hope that all other states will support Colorado’s example with these sanctions.”

In 2010, Congress’ Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Divestment and Accountability Act (CISADA) specifically authorized states and local governments to adopt and enforce measures that preclude any entity that has a large investment in Iran’s energy sector from contracting with the government.

Twenty-three states passed or implemented some form of divestment of state funds from Iranian entities.

CISADA provided the framework for new targeted sanctions legislation.

In 2011, California became the first state to increase penalties and indemnity provisions under CISADA. Illinois, Florida, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri increased penalties in the 2011-2012 legislative sessions.

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