Kerry Has Investments in Companies Accused of Violating Iran Sanctions
12:59 PM, Dec 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Kerry, who will be nominated later today to be the next secretary of state, is the richest member of the U.S. Senate. His estimated net worth is, at minimum, $198.65 million, according to disclosure forms.
Kerry's disclosure forms also reveal that he has invested in companies accused of doing business with Iran.
One of the companies Kerry is invested in is called Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (Petrobras), it's a Brazilian-based oil and gas corporation. Disclosure forms reveal that Kerry has between $150,000 and 350,000 in assets in the company.
But a 2009 report from Congressional Research Services found that, since 1999, Petrobras has "major investments in Iran's energy sector."
The next year, in 2010, Congress lised Petrobras as a company possibly violating Iran sanctions.
"“Recently, after 50 lawmakers from both parties complained to President Obama about the lack of enforcement and sent him a list of companies that apparently violated the law, the State Department announced a preliminary investigation. Officials said that they were looking at 27 deals, and that while some appeared to have been ‘carefully constructed’ to get around the letter of the law, they had identified a number of problematic cases and were focusing on companies still active in Iran," the New York Times reported then.
"Among the companies on the list Congress sent to the State Department is the Brazilian state-controlled energy conglomerate Petrobras, which last year received a $2 billion Export-Import Bank loan to develop an oil reserve off the coast of Rio de Janeiro."
Senator Kerry did not sign the letter asking the Obama administration to investigate Iran sanctions violators
The New York Times has labeled that company "Possible violator of the Iran Sanctions Act."
"Petrobras, a state owned oil company in Brazil, invested $100 million to explore Iran's offshore oil prospects in the Persian Gulf. It has also received a large loan from the Export Import Bank to develop offshore oil reserves discovered off the coast of Brazil. Diogo Almeida, the economic attaché at the Brazilian Embassy in Iran, said the company is in talks with the Iranians about future oil and gas development projects, but first must determine how much of its resources it wants to devote to the Brazilian discovery. I.A. 'Tony' Piazza, managing director of Petrobras Middle East B.V. - Iran, confirmed that the company remains interested in doing business in Iran," the Times describes the company.
And media reports suggest Petrobras only wants to expand its investments and business in Iran.
Indeed, the company even has an office in Iran. And Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Brazil to signal the close ties of the two countries.
Petrobras is not the only company Kerry has money in that's accused of violating U.S. law.