Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee has a head start on making deals with Iran. Because even though Iran was under sanctions as a state sponsor of terrorism and it was illegal for U.S. companies to have any dealings with them, Tillerson simply routed his discussions through one of Exxon's European branches.
ExxonMobil did business with Iran, Syria and Sudan through a European subsidiary while President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State was a top executive of the oil giant and those countries were under U.S. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.
Tillerson’s own little axis of evil might have been funding terrorists, working to overthrow democracies, and using chemical weapons on their own citizens, but that ignores the really important point: They have oil.
Compared to Exxon’s massive $371 billion in annual revenue, the transactions with terror states were rather small. That’s not not surprising, since Exxon’s income is actually larger than the GDP of any of these nations. So neither Tillerson nor his company felt they needed to actually tell anybody, including the SEC.
The SEC letter questioned ExxonMobil’s failure to disclose to shareholders that it had transactions with three state sponsors of terrorism. Decisions to make such disclosures should be based on “the potential impact of corporate activities upon a company`s reputation and share value,” and not simply the monetary value of the transactions, the SEC said.
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