Iran Should Not Be A Partisan Issue!

An old union buddy of mine wrote the following letter to his US Senator, Jon Tester.  It is worth reading.

Dear Senator Tester:

On Oct. 6, you issued a public statement raising the issue of US companies doing business with the dangerous regime in Iran.  I appreciate your doing so; it was long overdue.

Iran is clearly the number one threat to world peace: an apocalyptic regime committed to the destruction of a democratic neighbor state, implacably
hostile to the US, a fountainhead of terrorism, murderer and oppressor to its own people.  And for years this dangerous regime has bent all its efforts at developing nuclear weapons.  The response of the US and the West has been all too feeble.

But I was deeply disappointed to see you raise this all-important issue for the apparent purpose of taking a partisan cheap shot at a political enemy!  By spotlighting Koch Industries as the only mentionable company doing business with Iran, you used an international crisis to score points on a major Republican supporter, rather than unmasking just how serious this problem is across the board.

True, Koch Industries is on the list of companies doing business with Iran.  But so are the following:

High-tech firms like Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco Systems, Dell Computers, Honeywell, IBM, Intel, MCI, and United Technologies.

Resource industries like Alcoa, MMM, and Conoco Phillips.

Banking companies like Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.

And others, like Whirlpool, Boeing, Halliburton, Marriott, even Pepsi and Coca-Cola!

Many of these companies also have large contracts with the federal government; some, like MCI and Wells Fargo, running into the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

The best source on all of this is the organization “United Against A Nuclear Iran” ( and its Iranian Business Registry.

As you know, the present “Iran SAD Act” restricts these companies from direct business with Iran, but not from doing business through their foreign-based subsidiaries.  More stringent US law could dry up this traffic.

There is a big problem here, Senator.   It needs to be addressed by stronger law, as well as by shining the public spotlight on these companies.  All of them – not just the ones who can be linked to Republicans.


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