Romney’s Love Triangle: Iran, Russia and China

Recently disclosed tax returns for the Romney family trust show numerous trades in companies that conduct business in or with Russia, China and Iran.

We will not know the motives behind the GOP Presidential candidate’s hesitance to release his tax records, but if these 2 years worth of returns he finally released are an indication of his business practices, we do understand.

Here is a list of the various companies, banks and investments connecting Romney’s investments to Russia, China and Iran:

  • China North Oil, recently named by the Congressional Research Service as a likely violator of the Iran Sanctions Act.
  • Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian bank that has been under investigation by U.S. authorities for handling of Iranian funds.
  • BNP Paribas, a French bank with long-standing operations in Iran.
  • Gazprom, a Russian company, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world with business connections to Iran.
  • Schlumberger, world’s largest oilfield services company with business connections to Iran.
  • Komatsu, manufacturer of full range of Construction, Mining, and Compact Construction equipment, direct business ties to Iran.
  • Cnooc Fund (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) accused of drug trafficking and human rights abuses, ties with Iran.
  • LUKoil is Russia’s second largest oil company and its second largest producer of oil, business in and with Iran.
  • Sinopec, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, direct business with Iran.

Some of these companies were warned by the US and have been investigated or are currently under investigation by the State Department and the Treasury Department whether their business connections violate U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran.

Moreover, in August 2010, United Against Nuclear Iran, a non-profit organization dedicated to monitoring Iran, has listed many of the above companies as ones to be closely monitored for their business dealings with Iran.

In 2007, when he was running against John McCain, Romney promised his trust would sell off any investments that conflicted with Republican positions on hot-button domestic and foreign policy issues such as abortion, stem cell research and nuclear weapons. But according to a detailed review of Romney’s financial records by The Associated Press, trading went on until 2010 when those interests were finally sold off for more than $3 million.

When the revelations were exposed, a Romney campaign spokesperson, Andrea Saul, used the same line of debunked “blind trust” pretext to spin it.  She said the former Massachusetts governor had no control over the investments made by his blind trust. Here is the link to another one of my reports where Romney clearly says –in a video- “blind trust is an age-old ruse. You can always tell the blind trust what it can and cannot do”: Romney’s Blind Trust in Collective Amnesia (VIDEO)