Calif. bars state banks from funding Iran, terror groups

WASHINGTON (JTA) – California enacted a measure making it illegal for state-chartered financial institutions to be used, directly or indirectly, to funnel money to terrorist groups or the government of Iran.

The law signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown provides oversight mechanisms to ensure that the state-licensed banks and credit unions have policies to prevent the maintenance and opening of accounts with foreign financial institutions that legally assist Iran.

Violators would be fined and reported to the U.S. Treasury Department for prosecution.

The state Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly passed the measure.

The legislation “sends a clear message that California — the ninth largest economy in the world — will not tolerate efforts by this Iranian regime to achieve nuclear weapons capabilities,” said Bob Blumenfield, a member of the Los Angeles City Council who backed the measure along with the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California.