AP: New Jersey announced Friday it will prohibit state pension money from being invested in companies that do business in Iran. The Associated Press
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey announced Friday it will prohibit state pension money from being invested in companies that do business in Iran.
Most American companies are already barred from doing business in the country, but Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed a measure restricting the state from buying stock in international companies that do business with Iran. Florida and California have similar laws.
The move is designed to protest the country’s links to terrorism and its nuclear ambitions.
‘I continue to support using economic means, not military means, to bring about policy changes in Iran,’ Corzine said recently when discussing the bill signed privately on Friday.
Florida’s law also banned investments in Sudan, and the board governing Florida’s public employee retirement fund authorized it to divest nearly $1.3 billion invested with 21 companies doing business in the two nations.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation in October to end state investment in companies that do business with Iran.
New Jersey Assemblyman Neil Cohen, D-Union, a bill sponsor, cited Iranian threats against Israel.
The state’s pension fund is worth about $80 billion, though it was unclear how much is invested in companies doing business in Iran. The law requires the state to hire an independent research firm specializing in global securities to identify such investments.
New Jersey’s pension fund is the nation’s ninth largest. It recently divested $2.16 billion from 17 companies doing business in Sudan.