Halliburton to Cease Operations in Iran/Iran Freedom Support Act Introduced in Congress
Citing U.S. sanctions on Iran and a poor business climate there, Halliburton Co. announced on Friday that it will no longer conduct future business in Iran once the company's current contractual obligations are finalized. However, Halliburton's CEO said that the company would return to Iran if U.S. sanctions are lifted. Halliburton conducts operations in Iran via Halliburton Products & Services Ltd., a Cayman Islands-registered company with headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Separately, on January 6, 2005 Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced the "Iran Free Support Act" (H.R. 282). The bill is similar to the ILSA Enhancement Act that she introduced last year, but may gain more political momentum this Congress given the increased concern over Iran's nuclear program. To date, the measure already has 50 co-sponsors. As currently drafted, H.R. 282:
-requires the President to renew his waiver of ILSA sanctions on a foreign company every 6 months as opposed to exercising it only once;
-requires the President to report on efforts to enlist multilateral support for U.S. initiatives every 6 months;
-expands the current scope of ILSA coverage to include insurers and creditors;
-removes the 5 year sunset provision;
-expands the definition of petroleum to include petroleum by-products; and
-limits the President to 90 days from the date of disclosure of an investment to make a determination on sanctions imposition.
The House International Relations Committee is planning to hold a hearing on U.S. policy toward Iran in mid-February.
The text of H.R. 282 can be found at: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.282.