AJC Los Angeles Proud To Have Championed the Iran Divestment Program
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones touted the success of the Department of Insurance’s Iran Divestment Program. When the program began in 2009, the total amount of investments by these insurers in companies doing business in the Iranian military, energy and nuclear sectors was approximately $6 billion. Today, that total has been decimated to just under $200 million—a 97 percent reduction. Additionally, only eight insurance companies of the 1300 insurers licensed to do business in California, including State Farm MutualAutomobile Insurance Company, continue to decline to divest from holdings in the energy, military, and nuclear sectors of the Iranian economy.
"The success of California's Iran Divestment program underscores AJC's longstanding position that divestment and the negative publicity it creates, compel companies to reassess their investment in Iran" said AJC Los Angeles Regional Director, Rabbi Mark Diamond. "Halting Iran's nuclear program is a matter of utmost urgency," Diamond continued. "This program can be a nationwide model for how state and local measures can significantly impact the overall effort to stop Iran's nuclear program.”
AJC has lead efforts across the country to support state-level sanctions legislation against Iran, specifically AJC Los Angeles’ efforts in supporting the insurance divestment program in California. However, California is currently the only state in the country that deprives Iran of an important source of capital derived from insurance industry indirect investments.
“Insurance companies investing in companies doing business with the military, nuclear or energy sectors of the Iranian economy are making a risky investment,” Commissioner Jones said. “The Department of Insurance asks insurers to divest their holdings in companiesdoing business in the military, nuclear and energy sectors of Iran, because of the financial risk associated with investing in those sectors of the Iranian economy. We have made extraordinary progress -- of the 1300 insurers licensed to do business in California, only eight insurers remain that decline to divest.
Upon taking office in January 2011, Commissioner Jones directed the Department to continue its efforts to call on insurers to divest in companies doing business with the energy, military and nuclear sectors of the Iranian economy. The department, at the direction of Commissioner Jones, has intensified its efforts over the last few months, reducing the number of remaining insurers declining to divest to eight.