Governor Greg Abbott today informed the Obama administration that Texas will maintain and strengthen its sanctions against Iran. Governor Abbott responded to a letter from the administration requesting that Texas "review" its economic sanctions against Iran. Governor Abbott reiterated his strong opposition to the Iran deal and informed the administration that he will continue to seek new legislation to strengthen existing economic sanctions against the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.
"Entering into an agreement with a country that consistently calls for 'death to America' and repeatedly articulates anti-Semitic policies is short-sighted and ignores geopolitical realities," Governor Abbott writes in the letter. "As a strong supporter of Israel, I am committed to doing everything in my power to oppose this misguided deal with Iran. Accordingly, not only will we not withdraw our sanctions, but we will strengthen them to ensure Texas taxpayer dollars are not used to aid and abet Iran."
During his visit to Israel in January 2016, Governor Abbott met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and announced he would seek legislation to:
Prohibit local government entities in the State of Texas from investing in Iran or entities conducting business with Iran
Require all Texas state entities – not just state pensions – to follow Texas' divestiture policy
Close additional loopholes in Texas' current divestiture statute.