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Antonovich Seeks To Keep County Pension Funds Out Of Iranian Energy Sector

Motion cites financial, public relations risks

Los Angeles County Supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky introduced a motion to send a 5-signature letter to Gregg Rademacher, Chief Executive of the Los Angeles County Employee's Retirement Association (LACERA), requesting the pension program divest assets or other investment funds from companies doing business with Iran.


In 2001, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) determined that companies with business operations in terrorist-sponsoring states are exposed to a special category of risk know as Global Security Risk, a combination of risk to both share value and corporate reputation which stems from a publicly-traded company's international activities and the security-related concerns generated by connections to terrorism and weapons proliferation.


Under current law, all US and foreign companies that have invested more than $20 million in Iran's oil and natural gas sector in any given year since August 1996, are liable to be sanctioned.


"Iran has been identified by the State Department as the chief state sponsor of international terrorism and continues to move forward with its nuclear program in defiance of its nonproliferation obligations," said Antonovich.  "Economic sanctions, risk warnings, credit restrictions, and other measures announced by the United States, European nations, and the United Nations make business in Iran's oil and natural gas sector an increasing fiduciary risk."


The board will vote on the motion at the next meeting of the Board on Tuesday, July 21, 2009.