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Jewish Dem presses Obama to list sanctions busters

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Jewish Democratic congressman called on the Obama administration to list companies doing business with Iran.

"The administration should waste no time in creating its own definitive list so that the American people can know immediately which companies are choosing to risk international security by investing in Iran," Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said in testimony Wednesday before a U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on the failure to sanction companies that deal with Iran.

Such a list would be a requirement of enhanced sanctions legislation likely to land on President Obama’s desk in the next couple of months. But Deutch, who crafted an Iran sanctions law when he was a Florida state senator, said the administration should not wait.

"I am aware that many of these companies are based in countries that are our allies," said Deutch, who replaced Robert Wexler in a special election last month. "Nevertheless, there is no greater threat to global security than the Iranian regime’s quest for nuclear weapons, and it is time we put proper pressure on our friends, allies and international competitors alike to end their investments in Iran."

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and the ranking Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), called the hearing in the wake of revelations in a New York Times investigation in March that $107 billion in U.S. government contracts had gone to companies violating existing Iran sanctions.

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