Iran General NewsCalifornia bill to divest Iran investments signed

California bill to divest Iran investments signed

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Reuters: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Sunday, as he previously said he would, to bar the two biggest U.S. public pension funds from investing in companies doing business in Iran. SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Sunday, as he previously said he would, to bar the two biggest U.S. public pension funds from investing in companies doing business in Iran.

The bill, which affects the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.

Schwarzenegger’s office had issued an announcement last month stating he would sign the bill while he was in New York as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was appearing at Columbia University.

“I couldn’t be more proud to sign this bill,” California’s celebrity Republican governor said in a statement on Sunday that noted California aimed investment restrictions at South Africa in the 1980s to protest its then apartheid policies and at Sudan last year over violence in Darfur.

Schwarzenegger echoed the U.S. government’s view of Iran’s government as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“This year I am pleased to support additional efforts to further prevent terrorism by doing what’s right with our investment portfolio and signing this legislation to divest from Iran,” Schwarzenegger said.

California’s two heavyweight pension funds opposed any legislative limits on how and where they invest.

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