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(May 02, 2008) On April 2, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed a law to prohibit investments by Israeli financial institutions in corporations that maintain substantive business contacts with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such contacts are defined as trade, financial, or other economic contacts with the Iranian government, for its benefit or in Iranian territory, generally or in a transaction worth US$20 million or other amounts as determined by law, in transactions related to energy or in a corporation connected to development of non-conventional weapons by Iran.

The law establishes an implementation committee composed of representatives from the Prime Minister's office, the Ministries of the Treasury, Foreign Affairs, Defense, Industry, Trade and Employment, Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prevention, the Stock Market Authority, and the Bank of Israel. The committee will compile a list of corporations that maintain substantive business relations with Iran. The law regulates the procedures to be implemented by the committee prior to inclusion of a corporation on that list, including the rights of injured parties to object. The law prescribes criminal penalties for financial institutions and their general directors, active directors, or other senior employees responsible for operations in violation of the law.

Explanatory notes on the bill state that Iran constitutes a real danger to world peace and to the existence of the State of Israel; that the President of Iran has expressly called for Israel's destruction; and that the Iranian regime is developing non-conventional weapons for mass extermination. They further contend that preliminary sanctions against Iran by Western countries have already led to a decrease of investments in Iranian oil fields and a decrease in Iranian oil production, resulting in harm to the Iranian economy and giving rise to expressions of discontent by the Iranian public in the current regime. (Prohibition of Investment in Corporations That Maintain Business Contact with Iran Law and Bill, 5768-2008, the Knesset Website.)

Author: Ruth Levush More by this author
Topic: Investments More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Israel More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/02/2008