'US-listed firms told to reveal Syria, Iran links'

Several companies, including Sony, American Express instructed by US Securities and Exchange Commission to reveal business activities with countries deemed "state sponsors" of terror, the 'Financial Times' reports.

By REUTERS
December 12, 2011 09:39
1 minute read.
The New York Stock Exchange.

New York Stock Exchange NYSE 311 R. (photo credit: ERIC THAYER / Reuters)

At least a dozen US-listed companies have been told by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose business activity in and with Syria, Iran and others deemed "state sponsors" of terror by the state department, the Financial Times said on Sunday.

The inquiries are part of SEC reviews of companies' investment risks to security holders.

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Sony Corp, Caterpillar Inc, American Express, Aecom Technology, Iridex and Veolia Environnement are among the companies that received letters from the SEC's corporate finance division, the report said.

Their responses show how sales have shriveled with tighter international sanctions, the FT said.

The United States and its Western allies have supported multiple rounds of sanctions on Iran, seeking to persuade it to curtail its nuclear work. Washington suspects Tehran of using its civilian nuclear program to develop an atomic bomb, though Iran says its program is solely to produce electricity.

On Nov. 21, the United States, Britain and Canada announced new sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors, but the Obama administration stopped short of targeting Iran's central bank, a step that US officials said could send oil prices skyrocketing and jeopardized global economic recovery.

"The Obama administration strongly supports increasing the pressure on Iran, and that includes properly designed and targeted sanctions against the central bank of Iran, appropriately timed as part of a carefully phased and sustainable policy toward bringing about Iranian compliance with its obligations," US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


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