Iran General NewsTexas may divest from Iran-friendly cos.

Texas may divest from Iran-friendly cos.

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AP: Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants state pension funds to divest from companies doing business in Iran, similar to a move the funds are taking with companies tied to Sudan. Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants state pension funds to divest from companies doing business in Iran, similar to a move the funds are taking with companies tied to Sudan.

The Republican governor said Wednesday he is trying to determine whether he could start divesting without legislative approval. If he can’t, he said, he might call a special session.

The divestment was advocated by Israeli officials Perry met with last month on a trip to Israel, said Secretary of State Phil Wilson, who attended the meetings. He said the office doesn’t yet have estimates of how much money in the funds is invested in companies with ties to Iran.

“(Iran) is a country that has a clear terrorist focus, has a clear mission to wipe a friendly democracy and a very close ally of the United States off of the face of the earth,” Perry said, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s calls for the destruction of Israel.

The governor recently signed legislation directing the $108.3 billion Teacher Retirement System and the $24.9 billion Employees Retirement System to get rid of holdings in companies doing business in Sudan, where a civil war in the Darfur region has killed 200,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million.

A bill involving divestment from Iran died in the Legislature this spring.

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