A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. John Kyl and Sen. Robert Menendez, is asking the State Department to crack down on Chinese companies doing business with Iran, Foreign Policy’s the Cable is reporting.
The lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking for the results of a State Department investigation into the business dealings between Chinese and Iranian companies:
“It appears that Chinese firms in the energy and banking sectors have conducted significant activity in violation of U.S. law,” the senators stated. “We cannot afford to create the impression that China will be given free rein to conduct economic activity in Iran when more responsible nations have chosen to follow the course we have asked of them. We are sure you agree.”
The State Department’s Bob Einhorn is briefing senators on Capitol Hill on this very issue on Friday, a senior GOP Senate aide told The Cable.
In remarks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Wednesday, Einhorn addressed the issue directly, saying that “we continue to have concerns about the transfer of proliferation-sensitive equipment and materials to Iran by Chinese companies, there is substantial evidence that Beijing has taken a cautious, go-slow approach toward its energy cooperation with Iran.”
The Cable reports that the results of the State Department investigation, which began in late September, should be available by March 26. President Obama pledged to punish firms doing business with the regime last summer, and it’s time for the administration to follow through.