September 30, 2010 | Press Release

Foundation for Defense of Democracies Urges Obama to Press Harder on Iran Sanctions

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Press Release

September 30, 2010


Judy Mayka

[email protected]


Foundation for Defense of Democracies Urges Obama to Press Harder on Iran Sanctions

Washington, D.C. (September 30, 2010) The United States announced today that it will penalize Naftiran Intertrade Co. for violating sanctions that prohibit business with Iran. Under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, which President Obama signed on July 1, the White House had until Friday, October 1 to submit to Congress a list of companies it believes are in violation of Iran sanctions.

“Since July 1, when the President signed the Comprehensive Act into law, the Obama administration has taken important diplomatic steps aimed at squeezing the Iranian regime by enforcing energy sanctions. Indeed, an increasing number of companies have ended their energy-related trade with Iran,” said Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and leader of its Iran Energy Project.

The State Department also announced that four European multinational firms have committed to halt investment in Iran’s energy sector: Total of France, Statoil of Norway, ENI of Italy, and Royal Dutch Shell of Britain and the Netherlands.

He continued, “I strongly support sanctions against Iranian-government controlled entities operating in Europe, particularly companies like NICO, which are heavily involved in overseas energy joint ventures and investments and which give the Iranian regime influence and access to key technology and expertise. I am very disappointed, however, in the Obama administration’s decision to sanction only one company, while ignoring the many foreign energy firms that are violating U.S. laws. If the Obama administration opts for only symbolic and selective measures, it could collapse our Iran policy, making it likely to require more drastic measures to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Observers in Tehran, Beijing and Moscow and elsewhere are watching closely. We encourage the administration to send a message to them by enforcing the comprehensive sanctions it worked so hard to pass against foreign energy companies violating U.S law.”

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Iran Energy Project has released two reports, identifying more than 20 foreign companies that continue to do business with Iran in spite of international sanctions, making the case that they warrant further investigation under the Comprehensive Act.

For more information on some of these companies, see the piece Mr. Dubowitz co-authored with FDD Senior Fellow Benjamin Weinthal in the Wall Street Journal and FDD’s full reports here and here.

For writings by Mr. Dubowitz on NICO and its role in overseas energy projects, please see here and here.

FDD’s Iran Energy Project maintains a more comprehensive list of international companies operating in Iran’s energy sector at Through the project, FDD provides leading research and analysis in support of strong, broad-based energy sanctions, including sanctions on gasoline, natural gas, and oil, and focuses on the prominent role of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the country’s energy industry.

To book an interview or for more information on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies please contact Judy Mayka at (202) 621-3948 or [email protected].


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit