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Lawmakers approve tougher scrutiny of banks over Iran transactions

August 09, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk is getting more cluttered as lawmakers this week resumed sending him legislation, including a measure aimed at making sure state-chartered banks are not funneling money to the government of Iran.

The Iran bill was introduced by Robert Blumenfield, a Democrat from Woodland Hills, before he left the state Assembly in July to take a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

The measure directs the California Commissioner of Financial Institutions to look for transactions with Iran when doing audits of state-chartered financial institutions every two years.

“I am pleased that California will continue to take steps against an Iranian regime that continues to seek nuclear weapons capability,” Blumenfield said. “Iran’s ongoing resistance to international cooperation jeopardizes regional stability and ongoing efforts to achieve Middle-East peace.”

Blumenfield said AB 978 was inspired by New York officials’ discovery in 2012 that Standard Chartered Bank had tens of thousands of transactions with Iran for nearly a decade.

The legislation is supported by the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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