Published September 8, 2015 | Tagged:

Seeks State Measure to Block State Business with State Sponsors of Terrorism 

Missouri Leads the Way, Joined by Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Ohio…More to Come

ST LOUIS: An effort in Missouri to keep State tax dollars from being invested in, or spent with corporations doing business with State Sponsors of Terrorism, including Iran, announced today that it will seek to amend the state constitution.

Called “Defund Iran” ( the effort is in response to provisions in the Obama-Iran Nuclear agreement that requires the Federal Government to use “all available authorities” the pressure states to rescind anti-terrorism divestiture laws or practices.

The specific fine print of the Obama-Iran Nuclear Deal in Paragraph 25 says,

“If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting…the United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation.”

Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, National Chairwoman for Defund Iran and Co-Chair of the Missouri effort said,

“As State Treasurer I made sure none of our Missouri taxpayer dollars were being invested with any company doing business with Iran. But now President Obama has committed the full force of the Federal government to pressure states to rescind their anti-terrorism laws.”

“Our organization – Defund Iran – will take this fight to the voters and give them an opportunity to vote to put in their state constitutions the principle that tax dollars should never be invested in or spent with corporations doing business with State Sponsors of Terrorism.”

Missouri is one of five states – Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri and Ohio – to announce the Defund Iran efforts to put anti-terrorism divestiture language in its state constitution through a vote on the November 2016 General election ballot.

Senate Majority Caucus Leader Eric Schmitt, who joins Steelman as a State Co-Chair of the effort added,

“With this initiative, we are going to make clear to Washington that Missouri taxpayer dollars will not be invested with companies that do business with any state sponsor of terror, including Iran. In the nuclear agreement, the Obama Administration approved a special deal that would preempt state laws and policies that prevent tax dollars from being invested with international entities that fund terror states. Missourians deserve the opportunity to send Washington a message that their tax dollars should not be funneled to any country that has made ‘death to America’ their national slogan and seek to harm and kill our people and the men and women who wear the uniform of our Armed Forces.”

A national survey conducted August 12-17 by McLaughlin & Associates shows tremendous support for the ballot measure. Said pollster John E. McLaughlin,

There is strong bi-partisan support for this ballot measure as 4 out of 5 Republicans (81%); 3 out of 5 Democrats (60%) and 7 out of 10 Independents (70%) all said they would support such a ballot measure.”

A Missouri specific IVR poll conducted August 12th, showed even stronger support with 77.6% of all voters indicating that they would vote in favor of the ballot measure, including 64.0% of Democrats, 74.7% of Independents and 84.4% of Republicans. Depth of support was evident with 63.4% of voters saying they strongly support the ballot measure to only 10.8% strongly opposed. Still stronger, 64.2% of all voters say they’re more likely to support a candidate that supports the ballot measure 

Concluded Steelman:

“The agreement has committed the United States government to use “all available authorities” to rescind anti-terrorism divestiture laws. We will use authority of the ballot box. We start today in Missouri and in five states, the effort to give the people the chance to protect their money from terrorists. Let’s put it to a vote.”

Defund Iran will launch efforts in at least 15 states by the end of September and will work to put its anti-terrorism amendment on as many as 25 state ballots at the November general election. Its National Chairwoman is Sarah Steelman, former Missouri State Treasurer, who first enacted a policy of terrorism divestiture for her state in 2006. Joining Steelman in the effort as Honorary National Chairs of Defund Iran are Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Colorado House Minority Leader Mark Waller. Both Mandel and Waller are veterans of the Iraq War. 

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