Multiple companies currently exploring new business ventures in Iran are also cashing in on highly lucrative contracts with the U.S. Defense Department, raising questions about whether their dealings with Iran could run afoul of U.S. law.
At least 13 major international companies have said in recent weeks that they aim to reenter the Iranian marketplace over the next several months. The companies have received Pentagon contracts totaling well over $107 billion, according to a Washington Free Beaconanalysis that tracked DoD contracts awarded since fiscal year 2009.
Many of the companies, which include carmaker Renault and oil giants such as BP, have already sent high-level trade delegations to Tehran to meet with Iranian officials about striking new business deals.
"Companies doing business with Iran in any way should not be rewarded with Department of Defense contracts until Iran has verifiably dismantled its nuclear, chemical, biological, and ballistic missile launch technology programs and is no longer a state sponsor of terrorism," said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
"These are the conditions set by Congress for the permanent lifting of the most important legislative sanctions," Dubowitz said. "If companies want to reenter the Iranian market in the prescribed areas permitted under the Geneva agreement over the next six months, that's their choice. But the U.S. taxpayer shouldn't be rewarding those companies with lucrative defense contracts at the same time."