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H.R. 1327 (111th): Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

10/14/2009--Passed House amended. Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009 - (Sec. 3) States that it is the policy of the United States to support the decision of state and local governments and educational institutions to divest from, and to prohibit the investment of assets they control in, persons that the have investments of more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector.

Authorizes a state or local government to adopt and enforce measures to divest its assets from, or prohibit their investment in, any person that the state or local government determines, using credible information available to the public, engages in certain investment activities in Iran. Specifies such activities as: (1) the investment of $20 million or more in Iran's energy sector; or (2) provision of oil or liquefied natural gas tankers, or products used to construct or maintain pipelines used to transport oil or liquefied natural gas, for that energy sector. Authorizes divestment, as well, from any financial institution which extend $20 million or more in credit to another person, for 45 days or more, if that person will use the credit to invest in Iran's energy sector.

Expresses the sense of Congress that a state or local government should not adopt such measures against such a person unless it has made every effort to avoid erroneously targeting the person and has verified that such person engages in such investment activities.

Declares that any measure of a state or local government authorized under this Act is not preempted by any federal law or regulation.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Investment Company Act of 1940 to shield any registered investment company from civil, criminal, or administrative action based upon its divesting from, or avoiding investing in, securities issued by persons that have invested in Sudan or in Iran.

(Sec. 5) Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to shield from treatment as breaching a fiduciary duty any person divesting employee benefit plan assets from, or avoiding investing plan assets in, persons that have engaged in such investment activities in Iran.

(Sec. 7) Terminates this Act 30 days after the President certifies to Congress that the government of Iran has ceased: (1) providing support for acts of international terrorism and no longer satisfies the requirements for designation as a state-sponsor of terrorism; or (2) the pursuit, acquisition, and development of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology.