Tuesday, November 27, 2007
As Halliburton CEO, Cheney Evaded Law To Do Business With Iran
In an interview published yesterday with Fortune magazine's Nina Easton, Vice President Dick Cheney conceded that as Halliburton CEO, he had opposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, even though he now strongly supports them. Cheney explained that as a private sector official, he didn't have any responsibility to "worry about" the impact of his company's dealings with the country. What Cheney conveniently neglects to mention is that Halliburton evaded U.S. law in order to deal with Iran. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act authorizes the president to block transactions and freeze assets to deal with rogue nations. In 1995, President Clinton signed an executive order barring U.S. investment in Iran's energy sector. To evade U.S. law, Halliburton set up an offshore subsidiary that engaged in dealings with Iran. In 1996, Cheney blasted the Clinton administration for being "sanction-happy as a government." "The problem is that the good Lord didn't see fit to always put oil and gas resources where there are democratic governments," Cheney explained of his desire to do business with Iran. As the Bush administration now presses for tougher sanctions against Iran, Cheney should concede that Halliburton violated the spirit of the law and encourage other U.S. companies not to follow his lead.