Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Tuesday new sanctions against Iran that prohibit public contracts with any company or person that invests in Iran’s energy and finance sectors.
Christie shared the announcement of the new legislation in remarks at a gala in Whippany July 31 celebrating the merger that created the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
The State Senate and Assembly both approved the bill in June with broad bipartisan support. With Christie’s signature, New Jersey becomes the sixth state after New York, Florida, California, Indiana, and Maryland to enact such legislation.
Christie, explaining his decision to support the legislation, said Iran's behavior, including its nuclear programand continuing threats to Israel, “threatens to destabilize the whole world.”
Saying the U.S. has “no greater friend than the State of Israel,” he promised to stand by the country, as should all those who desire a safer world.
Max Kleinman, executive vice president and CEO of the Greater MetroWest federation, testified before the State Assembly supporting the legislation in June.
“We are very pleased to see that the governor has signed the Iran Sanctions Act and would like to thank him as well as all the sponsors who moved the bill,” said Gordon Haas, chair of the Community Relations Committee of Greater MetroWest NJ. “Our gratitude goes to both the Assembly and Senate, who voted for the bill unanimously.”
The move to impose sanctions follows a July 2010 law signed by President Barack Obama that gives states and local governments the authority to prevent contracting with companies that do business in Iran.
“With this law, the State of New Jersey is bolstering the United States government’s stand in support of the rights of the people of Iran and against the dictatorial regime and the economy on which it relies,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Dist. 3), who signed on as a prime sponsor of the legislation, noted the latest bill goes beyond a resolution he introduced last year urging more aggressive federal sanctions.
“By exercising the federal authority granted to the states by enacting our own state sanctions,” he said, “New Jersey’s message remains strong and clear: Until Iran confirms that it will curtail its nuclear ambitions and join in the pursuit of peace, we will continue to act forcefully to meet the danger that a nuclear Iran poses to everyone. “
Other dignitaries expected at the merger celebration included State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Dist. 27), Consul General of Israel Ido Aharoni, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., and representatives of Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez..