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Texas governor plans divestment from Iran

Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to divest the state’s pension funds from Iran after meeting with Israeli officials.

Perry traveled to Israel last month to accept a “Friend of Zion” award from Global Capital Associates. While there he met with former Benjamin Netanyahu the opposition leader and former prime minister, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who made the case for divestment.

Texas has successfully divested from companies that support Sudan because of the continuing crisis in Darfur. Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson said at a press conference on Tuesday that the new initiative was fueled by the success of the Sudan initiatives in changing the behavior of some companies.

Perry’s office has yet to total the amount of pension funds to be divested from Iran, but estimates that it could total “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The governor is currently looking to see if he can put divestment into action without legislation, but has not ruled out calling a special legislative session if necessary.

“The governor is very serious about this,” added Wilson.

Florida has divested from Iran and a number of other states are considering the move/ Federal legislation currently under consideration in Congress would facilitate such divestment until Iran ends its suspected nuclear weapons program.

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