Mass. pension board divests from Iran businesses

AP News
Posted: Jan 04, 2012 10:34 AM
Mass. pension board divests from Iran businesses

Massachusetts' pension board has divested all holdings in companies with major ties to Iran's energy industry.

The move announced Tuesday fulfills a law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010 requiring Massachusetts to divest public pension money from companies doing business with Iran.

The law required the state to divest its pensions from foreign oil and gas firms with active investments of more than $20 million in the country. Supporters argue the investments indirectly help foster terrorist activity sponsored by Iran.

Treasurer Steven Grossman, chairman of the state's Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, says authorities sold off securities in targeted companies.

Grossman said some companies that had originally been targeted for divestiture have since severed ties with Iran and were dropped from the restricted list.

Grossman said that shows sanctions can work.