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Pass Iran sanctions bill, governors urge

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan group of governors urged the U.S. Senate to pass an Iran sanctions bill.

In a letter to Senate leaders, the seven-member group asked that the Senate quickly pass the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act. The legislation authorizes state and local governments to divest from companies that invest in Iran’s petroleum and natural gas industries or do business with Iran’s nuclear industry, and protects fund managers who divest from such companies from possible lawsuits.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the measure by a 414-6 vote last month.

Govs. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.), David Paterson (D-N.Y.), Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.), Bill Ritter Jr. (D-Colo.) and Bobby Jindal (R-La.) signed the letter.

The governors wrote that while they have taken steps individually to address the "growing threat" of Iran by going ahead with such divestment, with passage of the legislation "we expect more of our fellow governors may engage in similar efforts, thus dramatically increasing leverage to influence this urgent matter."

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