Public Finance

CHAPTER 35-10.3
Divestiture of Investments in Iran

SECTION 35-10.3-1

§ 35-10.3-1. Legislative findings. [Expires July 1, 2018.].

It is hereby found by the general assembly as follows:

(1) The United States Department of State has determined that Iran supports acts of international terrorism; and

(2) A resolution of the United Nations Security Council imposes sanctions on Iran for its failure to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities; and

(3) The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously for an additional embargo on Iranian arms exports, which is a freeze on assets abroad of an expanded list of individuals and companies involved in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and further, calls for nations and institutions to bar new grants or loans to Iran except for humanitarian and developmental purposes; and

(4) All United States and foreign entities that have invested more than twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) in Iran's energy sector since August 5, 1996, are subject to sanctions under United States law pursuant to the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996; and

(5) The United States renewed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 in 2001 and 2006; and

(6) The United States Congress recently acted to pass the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, in light of diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts, unconventional and ballistic missile development programs, and support for international terrorism are more likely to be effective if the president is empowered with explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran; the people of the United States have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran and regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship; and additional funding should be provided to the secretary of state to document and disseminate information about human rights abuses in Iran, including abuses that have taken place since the June 2009 presidential election in Iran. Furthermore, the law authorizes state and local governments to divest public assets from, or prohibit public investment in, certain investment activities in Iran; and

(7) It is a fundamental responsibility of the state of Rhode Island to decide where, how, and by whom financial resources in its control should be invested, taking into account numerous pertinent factors; and

(8) It is the judgment of the Rhode Island general assembly that this act should remain in effect only insofar as it continues to be consistent with, and does not unduly interfere with, the foreign policy of the United States as determined by the federal government; and

(9) While the Rhode Island general assembly is sensitive to the welfare of the people of Iran, divestiture may improve the human condition, safety, and security of those currently living in Iran and surrounding states, and it is the responsibility of the state of Iran to provide human rights to its people; and,

(10) It is the judgment of this Rhode Island general assembly that mandatory divestment of public funds from certain companies is a measure that should be employed sparingly and judiciously, and with the hope that these peaceful sanctions will prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons and continuing the spread of terror.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2013, ch. 173, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 225, § 1.)