The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

October 2006

Special Dossier: Decision 5767
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• Allen: Days Of Refusal
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• Casey: $50M For Israel
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Sen. Santorum cast deciding vote to maintain loophole which allows companies like Halliburton to evade the U.S. ban on doing business with terrorist states such as Iran.
Special Dossier: Decision 5767


Rick Santorum On Iran
His record does not match his rhetoric.

-- Bonnie Squires
-- Dan Loeb

(Monday, Sep. 18) At a press conference in Philadelphia today, Ira Forman (NJDC), Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ), and U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA) highlighted Senator Rick Santorum's refusal to close the loophole which allows some American corporations, like Halliburton, to create foreign subsidiaries, in order to profit from trade with Iran. They expressed their concern about Senator Santorum's priorities placing the business interests of U.S.-owned companies doing business with Iran, including Halliburton, before the safety and security of the United States and its allies, including Israel.
Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC); U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz; and Senator Frank Lautenberg. (Photo: Bonnie Squires)

Senator Lautenberg said, "Pennsylvania's Junior Senator projects an image about himself to the Jewish community which simply does not match the facts". 

He added "Principle should trump partisanship," but he said that this was not the case with Santorum. Halliburton, which has a subsidiary registered in the Cayman Islands, does oil drilling in Iran, with Dubai acting as in intermediary for the company which was once run by Vice President Dick Cheney. 

According to Senator Lautenberg, "The Haliburton corporation in the Cayman Islands is nothing but an office with a phone which is not answered." The contracts cited at the press conference were signed between Haliburton's Dubai office and Kala Limited, the British subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company.

Senator Lautenberg has offered an amendment each year to close the terrorist loophole. Despite the egregious practices of Halliburton and other companies, Rick Santorum opposed the Lautenberg Amendment each time — even when he was the deciding vote in 2004. Moreover, Senator Santorum refuses to add the Lautenberg amendment to the Iran Freedom Act (S. 333), a bill which he touts to the Jewish community as proof of his self-proclaimed strong stance against terrorism.

The National Jewish Democratic Council Political Action Committee (NJDC PAC) released a report titled "Rick Santorum: Tough Talk, But Weak Action on Iran," highlighting Republican Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's troubling and irresponsible voting record on Iran. 

Extract of contract between Kala (The British subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company) and Haliburton Products and Services. Note clauses in the contract enforcing the Arab boycott of Israel and using re-exportation to circumvent the US boycott of Iran.
"For years, Rick Santorum has been placing the safety and security of the American people behind the interests of Halliburton and other U.S.-owned companies doing business with Iran. Enough is enough," said Ira Forman.  "America's security is dependent upon the commitment of our leaders to stand up against terrorist nations such as Iran. Likewise, the safety and security of Israel depends on Congress not awarding countries which fund terrorist attacks against the Israel and enforce the Arab League Boycott. Yet when it came time for Rick Santorum to take a stand and cast his vote, he sided with Halliburton and Iran's terrorist regime."

U.S.-owned companies are prohibited under current law from doing business with Iran. A loophole exists, however, that has been exploited by foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-owned companies who have been able to do business with the terrorist nation. One of the largest exploiters of this terrorist loophole has been Halliburton, which has done millions of dollars in business with Iran through its foreign subsidiary Halliburton Products and Services Ltd. dating back to when Vice President Dick Cheney was the company's CEO. In some of its deals with Iran, Halliburton's subsidiary has even agreed to participate in the Arab League Boycott against Israel, a draconian trade embargo still practiced by some Arab and Muslim countries which refuse to accept Israel's right to exist. (See condition 8 in the contract above.)

Kala (British subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company) and Haliburton Products and Services. 
"Rick Santorum is campaigning this fall, especially in the Jewish community, on his hard-lined position against Iran. But when Senator Santorum has had three separate opportunities to actually stand up against Iran and block U.S. companies from doing any kind of business with the terrorist nation, he has balked each time," NJDC PAC said in a statement. "It is easy to take the lead on pro-Israel measures that pass the Senate by unanimous consent. It is much harder, however, to take on powerful corporations that coddle countries which deny the Holocaust and argue that Israel should be wiped from the map. Pennsylvania voters would be wise to take Senator Santorum's positions on Iran and terrorism with a grain of salt. His record just doesn't match his rhetoric."

Senator Lautenberg emphasized that "revenue provided to Iran stirs trouble all over the Middle East, funding Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran's leader has said clearly that he wants to wipe Israel off of the map." 

He was outraged that while American companies and their foreign offices can not engage in such transactions directly, they can circumvent the law by setting up foreign subsidiaries for this purpose, taking advantage of "a loophole he [Santorum]  engineered in his Iran Freedom Act." 

Halliburton workers in Pars, Iran. (NBC Nightly News, Mar. 7, 2005)

Rep. Schwartz, the only Jewish member of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation, added that it is hypocritical for the United States to seek international sanctions against Iran while permitting the vice-president's former company to evade our own sanctions.

Asked when the elimination of the loophole can be brought up for a vote again, Lautenberg was pessimistic. "Time remaining in this session of Congress is short. We are subject to the wishes of the majority, but we can hope."

On the recent Senatorial debate on "Meet the Press" (September 5, 2006), Bob Casey asked Rick Santorum about Iran.

Casey: Dick Cheney opposed sanctions when he was at the Halliburton Company. And I want to ask you today, Rick, are you going to sit here today and not denounce him for continually opposing sanctions, and are you going to give the money back that he raised for you? I think he raised you 300,000 bucks in Luzerne County.

Santorum: I am not going to denounce the vice-president of the United States. ... I disagree with him on sanctions. I am not going to denounce him because I have a disagreement. I do not denounce people because I disagree with them....I agree with the president, as you see, a vast majority of the time. When I agree with him, I say it. And when I don't agree with him, I say it, too.

Casey: When you have two politicians in Washington that agree 98 percent of the time, one of them is really not necessary. We could have a machine have that kind of vote. We need someone who's going to be truly independent, who has the character and the integrity to stand up to his party and his president, especially at a time of war.

Rep. Schwartz, endorsed  Santorum's opponent. "Bob Casey is a friend of the Jewish community who understands the impact of a broad range of issues on our security and on Israel's security" focusing much of her remarks on the importance of energy independence to wean ourselves from terrorist regimes like Iran. She concluded that "Santorum hurts the United States and Israel by supporting companies which maintain a relationship with a country which is not our friend."

Senator Lautenberg agreed. After his recent trip to Israel, Bob Casey "spoke glowingly of Israel. 'Think about it', Casey said, 'Israel is as important to the United States as the United States is to Israel.'"