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  • Tuesday, October 03, 2006


    Censored 2007: Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran

    This is the first of an irregular and open-ended series of posts exploring issues and stories from Censored 2007: The Top 25 Censored Stories (Seven Stories Press). Disclaimer: I am not connected with Project Censored and the views presented here are my responsibility, not theirs. (Well, except if I quote bits.) Text for all of the 25 stories can be found at the index for Censored 2007. Go there and learn.

    The second story in the book is "Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran." Good ol' Halliburton. Never let it be said they let politics get in the way of profits. The information is based on Jason Leopold's work in the article "Halliburton Secretly Doing Business with Key Member of Iran’s Nuclear Team."
    In attempt to curtail other U.S. companies from engaging in business dealings with rogue nations, the Senate approved legislation July 26 [2005] that would penalize companies that continue to skirt U.S. law by setting up offshore subsidiaries as a way to legally conduct business in Libya, Iran and Syria, and avoid U.S. sanctions under International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is part of the Senate Defense Authorization bill.

    "It prevents U.S. corporations from creating a shell company somewhere else in order to do business with rogue, terror-sponsoring nations such as Syria and Iran," Collins said in a statement.

    "The bottom line is that if a U.S. company is evading sanctions to do business with one of these countries, they are helping to prop up countries that support terrorism - most often aimed against America," she said.

    The law currently doesn’t prohibit foreign subsidiaries from conducting business with rogue nations provided that the subsidiaries are truly independent of the parent company.

    But Halliburton’s Cayman Island subsidiary never did fit that description.

    Halliburton first started doing business in Iran as early as 1995, while Vice President Cheney was chief executive of the company and in possible violation of U.S. sanctions. According to a February 2001 report in the Wall Street Journal, "Halliburton Products & Services Ltd. works behind an unmarked door on the ninth floor of a new north Tehran tower block. A brochure declares that the company was registered in 1975 in the Cayman Islands, is based in the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Dubai and is "non-American." But, like the sign over the receptionist's head, the brochure bears the company's name and red emblem, and offers services from Halliburton units around the world." Moreover, mail sent to the company’s offices in Tehran and the Cayman Islands is forwarded to the company’s Dallas headquarters.
    So on one hand, you have the Bush Administration condemning Iran's nuclear ambitions. On the other hand, Cheney's old company is selling them the technology. (A story in Censored 2007 I will probably touch on at a later time is about how "Cheney's Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3,000 Percent Last Year." I'm sure his defense would be about how his stock is in a "blind trust." Yet he will still eventually reap the rewards.)

    There's plenty of scandal and outrage to go around. Grab a slice.

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