BUSINESS & ECONOMY

New Jersey May Impose Strict Economic Sanctions on Iran

Many lawmakers are hoping economic sanctions can stop Iran’s nuclear program, including Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27). He’s sponsoring a bill that would prohibit companies that do business with New Jersey municipalities or counties from working with Iran. He told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he hopes the sanctions will be enough and that armed intervention won’t be needed.

“The president [of Iran] has indicated he’s a devout enemy of Israel and ultimately it may come to a point where there has to be armed intervention if it comes to them developing nuclear weapons so we have to do everything we can to avoid that,” McKeon said. “That happens with economic sanctions.”

The sanctions would apply to all companies. McKeon explained that many are intertwined with Iran and will have to decide how to proceed. “If they want to work with the state and do business with us or our counties or our towns, they’re going to need to comply with this law,” he said.

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The reason for their involvement with Iran isn’t necessarily to support that country. “They’re not doing it god forbid because they support terrorism or that regime or are anti-Israel in any way, shape or form, but that’s just the way the system is,” McKeon said. “If they want to continue to do business with us they’re going to have to go through what they have to to unwind that.”

According to McKeon, the sanctions that are already in place are helping. “It’s also important that we send the signal that New Jersey and other states in this country stand in synch with Israel,” he said. “That is our number one ally in the world.”

McKeon said he hopes armed intervention is never necessary, but the U.S. would be willing to take the necessary steps to stop Iran from creating nuclear weapons. “It has to be stopped. Weapons of mass destruction cannot be in the hands of that regime and if it takes armed intervention down the line, so be it,” he said. “We’re doing what we can through economic sanctions to avoid that.”

McKeon also commented on the arrest of Assemblyman Robert Schroeder on charges he allegedly wrote bad checks. “From a personal perspective, I’m sad for he and his family and I hope the process will go through and we’ll see where it ultimately ends up,” he said. “But what occurs when any public official — I don’t care Democrat, Republican or otherwise — is arrested, it further erodes the trust in the rest of us, which the vast majority are well intentioned people that want to do the right thing.”