US Gave $107B to Firms Dodging Iran Sanctions

NYT investigation finds 49 firms still doing business in Tehran
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2010 7:13 AM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks with media during his press conference at the presidency in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

(Newser) – Want to thumb your nose at US sanctions, and sink some money in Iran? That's OK, the US government doesn't mind—to the tune of some $107 billion it's given in federal contracts and grants to corporations doing business with Tehran. As the New York Times reports, a large portion of that went to Iran's energy sector—a huge financial boon to both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Both the Obama and Bush administrations have spotty records, and it's difficult to exert control over foreign companies or foreign subsidiaries of US companies. Recent political tensions have led various companies to pull out of Iran, but according to the Times, 49 of 74 firms that have dealt both with Tehran and Washington have no stated intention of leaving the former.

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