Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

Cheney hasn't always liked sanctions on Iran

Vice President Dick Cheney now supports trade sanctions against Iran, but he didn't in the 1990s as chairman of Halliburton Co.

BY MATT KELLEYAssociated Press

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney, who has called Iran ''the world's leading exporter of terror,'' pushed to lift U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran while chairman of Halliburton Co. in the 1990s.

And his company's offshore subsidiaries also expanded business in Iran.

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards criticized Cheney in Tuesday night's debate for his position on Iran during the 1990s, and Edwards said he supports expanding the sanctions against Iran.

Cheney countered that he now supports sanctions against Iran but sidestepped the issue of Halliburton's involvement, saying it was being raised by Democrats ``to try to confuse the voters.''


Halliburton's foreign subsidiaries did about $65 million in business with Iran last year, company documents say.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Halliburton or its executives deliberately violated the U.S. ban on trade with Iran.

Foreign subsidiaries of American companies can do business with Iran as long as no Americans participate in that business.

Halliburton says it did not break that law.

While he headed the Houston-based oil services and construction company, Cheney strongly criticized sanctions against countries like Iran and Libya.

President Clinton cut off all U.S. trade with Iran in 1995 because of Tehran's support for terrorism.


Cheney argued then that sanctions did not work and punished American companies.
The former defense secretary complained in a 1998 speech that U.S. companies were ''cut out of the action'' in Iran because of the sanctions.

Although Cheney maintained his opposition to unilateral U.S. sanctions during his first months as vice president, the Bush administration renewed the trade ban with Iran in March 2001.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush grouped Iran with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea as members of an ''axis of evil'' -- nations with ties to both terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

Cheney now sounds a harder line. ''The government of Iran is the world's leading exporter of terror,'' Cheney he said less than a month after Bush's January 2002 ''axis of evil'' speech.
While campaigning, Cheney has often boasted of how the Bush administration helped shut down an underground network supplying nuclear technology to Iran, which he has called one of ``the world's most dangerous regimes.''

Halliburton, meanwhile, has defended the business deals with Iran that intensified under Cheney.

''It is neither prudent nor appropriate for our company to establish our own country-by-country foreign policy,'' Halliburton said in a January statement amid criticism of its Iran deals.

Much of Halliburton's business with Iran comes through Halliburton Products & Services Ltd., a subsidiary incorporated in the Cayman Islands and based in the United Arab Emirates. Halliburton Products & Services opened a Tehran office in early 2000, before Cheney left Halliburton to became Bush's running mate.

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