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article imageIsrael to ban investments in companies with ties to Iran

By Andrew Ardizzi     Jun 4, 2011 in Politics
Israel is poised to introduce a bill to the Ministerial Legislative Committee on Sunday which will ban Israeli firms from investing in companies that do business with Iran.
The bill comes hot on the heels of the Ofer brothers affair and if passed the legislation will levy a stiff penalty on any Israeli found doing business with Iran, The Jerusalem Post reported.
These penalties will amount to either 5-million shekels or three times the amount the investor makes from dealings with Iranians depending on which is the higher amount, the Post reported.
A government committee has spent the last six months compiling a list of companies that do business with Iran and subsequently the guidelines and punishments companies can expect, although the list is still incomplete, the Post report said.
The bill was proposed in the Israeli legislature on Thursday after a U.S. State Department report linked the Ofer brothers to commercial dealings with Iranian interests, haaretz.com reported.
If the Ofer brothers are sanctioned for their dealings, the decision may have far reaching implications.
"Many Israeli families are employed by the Ofer family," former Mossad head Meir Dagan told Haaretz. "I wouldn't want the thousands of bread-winners not to be able to do so."
Time magazine reported the Israeli government lists imposing international sanctions upon Iran its top international priority, scarcely passing on an opportunity to communicate the perils that will follow if Iran acquires the means to build a nuclear weapon.
In 2007 Iran was added to a list of states considered enemies by the Israeli finance ministry, joining other states previously opposed to Israel's establishment in 1948, Time reports.
Iran joined Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen as states not to do business with, while Egypt and Jordan signed separate peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994.
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