A new state initiative aimed at further isolating Iran deserves the support of every Pennsylvania lawmaker. The proposed legislation, already introduced in the state Senate and soon to be introduced in the House, would prohibit businesses that provide goods, services or credit worth at least $20 million to Iran's energy sector from winning a contract of $1 million or more from the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
The measure follows a 2010 statute forcing Pennsylvania's pension funds to divest from companies doing business with Iran or Sudan. Philadelphia state Sen. Mike Stack, who introduced the Senate legislation, credited the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition and the American Jewish Committee with helping to shape the legislation. Hank Butler, who heads the PJC, an organization which represents Jewish communities across the commonwealth, said passage of the bill is near the top of its legislative agenda.
It's not clear how much impact a state initiative will have on the Iranian economy, but it's worth every avenue to put the squeeze on Tehran as it continues to play games in its quest for nuclear capability. Such an initiative, as Stack put it, also "makes a strong statement against terror and puts our money where our mouth is so that Pennsylvania business is not in bed with terrorists."