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Friday, November 30, 2012

Susan Rice owns shares in companies doing business in Iran

The Washington Post reports that Susan Rice, who is apparently going to be President Obama's nominee to be Secretary of State, has 'modest' holdings in companies that are doing business in Iran. I'm sure you're all shocked....
One of the biggest of the holdings, between $50,000 and $100,000, according to Rice’s disclosure statement for 2011, is Royal Dutch Shell. The international oil giant stopped buying crude oil from Iran early this year as sanctions were tightened to block oil exports by Iran and to stop financial transactions with its central bank.
A company spokesman said officials dealing with Iran could not be reached, but a person familiar with the company, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of a lack of authorization to discuss the topic, said Royal Dutch Shell owes Iran about $1 billion.
Rice and her husband also own between $15,000 and $50,000 of stock in ENI, the Italian international oil company. ENI has said that it is no longer doing business with Iran, but it has a waiver from sanctions to enable it to collect oil as payment for about $1 billion Iran owes the company from earlier business deals. The company had been purchasing crude oil and developing natural gas fields.
On Thursday, Republicans on Capitol Hill began circulating information about Rice’s investments connected to Iran. Asked about the disclosure revelations, one senior GOP official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the topic, said, “This news adds to the list of questions about Susan Rice — not only her public statements, but now there are broader concerns about her past record.” Democratic staffers also said on condition of anonymity for the same reason that the investments would prompt questions of her if she is nominated.
Several ethics advisers interviewed Thursday said they did not see an immediate problem with the Rice’s investments but suggested that people on such a career track not hold stock in individual companies.


Rice is one of the richest members of the Obama Cabinet. She and her husband, Ian Cameron, were worth between $23.5 million and $43.5 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Cameron, a former television producer, is, like Rice, a Stanford University graduate. His father owned Victoria Plywood, a lumber company in British Columbia.
Rice, a Rhodes scholar, worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. before joining the Clinton administration, where she served on the National Security Council and later as assistant secretary of state for african affairs. Her late father was an economics professor, World Bank director and a governor of the Federal Reserve. Her mother is an education expert and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.
The flap over Rice’s investments began Wednesday over much larger stakes she and Cameron have in TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL pipeline, and companies active in the development of Canadian oil sands. Early next year, the State Department is expected to rule on whether to allow the construction of the controversial pipeline, which is opposed by environmental groups.
The post gave a hat tip for the report to the Washington Free Beacon.

By the way, aside from Iran, ENI also has a huge stake in Libya.


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