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Federation Applauds State of Florida Action on Iran and Sudan Sanctions

Gov. Rick Scott and Greater Miami Jewish Federation Board Chair Brian L. Bilzin

Gov. Rick Scott (left) and Federation Board Chair Brian L. Bilzin

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and its Jewish Community Relations Council applaud the State of Florida in its efforts to strengthen sanctions against Iran and Sudan.

On Tuesday, August 20, Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam took action during the Florida Cabinet meeting to enforce state-level implementation of the Federal “Iran Threat Reduction Act.” This Federal law, adopted in August 2012, and signed by the President in March 2013, requires U.S. companies to disclose business relationships with Iran to the Securities and Exchange Commission and empowers states to take similar action. Florida is the first state in the country to take such action.

Florida will now require all financial institutions, including foreign financial institutions, seeking to be underwriters for the State, to certify that they and their subsidiaries are not conducting, facilitating or engaging in any investment activities in Iran. This action will effectively bar any company that does business with Iran from representing the State in financial transactions.

“The Greater Miami Jewish Federation applauds the State of Florida for its leadership role in strengthening sanctions against Iran, having passed several bills that divested SBA investments from companies doing business with the energy sector of Iran and prohibited Florida-charted banks from doing business with any bank handling Iranian funds. We also recognize Miami-Dade municipalities that have passed proclamations to divest from companies that conduct business with Iran,” Federation Board Chair Brian L. Bilzin said.

Educating the community about Iran’s ambition to become a regional superpower equipped with nuclear weapons which would threaten the United States, Israel, and the rest of the “western” world has been a top priority for the Jewish community since 2007. Federation joined together with the American Jewish Committee, AIPAC, Anti-Defamation League, and American Jewish Congress to form the Iran Task Force, raising a unified voice and calling the world’s attention to the threat of a nuclear-equipped Iran. We have since worked with a broad coalition of Jewish and non-Jewish groups as well as with United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) to support legislative and regulatory actions requiring divestment from companies that do business with Iran, as well other sanctions.

“Florida has been a leader in adopting strong measures to isolate the Iranian regime in the areas of procurement, divestment and banking. We encourage local communities across the U.S to join Florida to pass similar measures” stated Tara Laxer, Florida Director of UANI.

The regulation also applies to companies doing business with the Republic of Sudan. The Jewish community will remain committed to achieving a peaceful Sudan, to ensure a better life for the millions of Sudanese who have persevered and dreamed of a new era in which human rights are respected and the government works to protect and improve the lives of its citizenry.

For more information on the Jewish Community Relations Council, call Carol Brick-Turin at 786.866.8485 or email CommunityRelations@JewishMiami.org.

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