Mattie Fein Calls for Jane Harman to Divest From Harman International Shares and Business in Iran: Writes Open Letter to AIPAC and RJC to Pressure Harman

Jul 02, 2010, 10:45 ET from Mattie Fein for Congress

TORRANCE, Calif., July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mattie Fein, congressional candidate CD-36, running to unseat Jane Harman, called for Harman to divest in Harman International shares and business in Iran. The letter to AIPAC's Executive Director Howard Kohr and the RJC is below:

July 1, 2010

Mr. Howard Kohr

Executive Director, AIPAC

Washington, DC

Re: Trading with the Enemy: Iran

Dear Mr. Kohr,

A widespread consensus agrees that Iran is a full or quasi-enemy of the United States. It is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. It was responsible for terrorist attacks on American soldiers and personnel in Lebanon in 1983 targeting Marine barracks and the American Embassy. The grim American death toll was in the hundreds. Iran again orchestrated the 1986 Khobar Towers terrorist attack against American soldiers in Saudi Arabia in 1986. Its President has derided the Holocaust, threatened to incinerate Israel, and continues to make mischief in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and elsewhere. It has flouted its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and its ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons is as clear as was Hitler's nefarious designs on the Sudetenland.

The United States Supreme Court recently recognized in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project that material assistance to a foreign terrorist organization may be criminalized because it frees up resources for terrorist endeavors. Similarly, any trade or assistance to Iran is alarming because it may be employed either directly to assist Iranian sponsored terrorism or Iran's military profile or frees up resources for Iran's Revolutionary Guard or President Mamoud Ahmadinejad to brutalize the Iranian people and strengthen their hold on power. I, aligned with many Americans and elected officials, are thus gravely concerned that companies are continuing to do business with Iran that sponsors terrorism—even companies connected to a Member of Congress.

In 2007, California boldly enacted legislation directing pension funds to divest of companies doing business In Iran. In 2010, Siemens corporation renounced its business there to avoid the loss of an attractive contract with Los Angeles to build a new railway system. Nobel Prize winner and human rights activist, Shirin Ebadi, had urged Siemens to that end in 2009. She elaborated that its communication devices and electronic goods would assist the world's cardinal state sponsor of terrorism to spy on dissidents and the political opposition.

As the Republican nominee to represent for Congress the 36th district in California, I have learned of financial ties between incumbent multi-millionaire Jane Harman and the distribution of "duel use" electronic goods in Iran. AKG Acoustics of Austria, a wholly owned subsidiary of Harman International, a U.S. company, distributes electronic products in Iran under the name of Fowzi Electronics, Ltd in Tehran, Iran. That information is corroborated on AKG's website and by recent reports in news blogs. In other words, AKG is materially assisting Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism.

Incumbent multi-millionaire Harman's financial disclosure form lists ownership of shares approximating $5 million to $20 million in value in Harman International. AKG is best reputed for the commercial and industrial use of recording devices, speakers, microphones, headphones, and wireless communication. But this equipment falls into dual-use technology that may also be employed in defense or aerospace.

AKG was part of the European Commission's Growth program, Safesound, including the enhancement of military aircraft, as elaborated below:

SAFESOUND is a project sponsored by European Commission's GROWTH program (GRD1 2001). SAFESOUND aims at improving safety during aircraft's ground and flight operation by means of enhanced audio functionalities. Project's enhanced audio functionalities are 'Direct Vice Input' (DVI), 'Direct Voice Output' (DVO) and distance speech capture. DVI (speech recognition) and DVO (speech synthesis, 3D audio) have already been evaluated and proven their advantages in the military aircraft environment.

The U.S. Army Aeromedical Laboratory has used AKG wireless communications and headsets to enhance battlefield communications or alertness through Army helmets. See Audio Helmet-Mounted Displays on website:  

The Washington Post recently published an article on lawmakers conflicts of Interests, June 13, 2010 highlighting multi-millionaire Representative Harman. She initially retorted that her financial interests were "family businesses," but then sent a correction request to The Washington Post the next day and rephrased the quote to be "these are companies founded by my husband." AKG was acquired by Harman International.

I am urging that AIPAC, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and other groups demand that multi-millionaire Representative Harman divest her shares of Harman International because its ownership makes it complicit in AKG's business with Iran. Fighting state sponsorship of terrorism should not be subordinated to the Golden Calf—especially by multi-millionaire Members of Congress.


Mattie Fein

Candidate for Congress, CD-36

Paid for and Authorized by Mattie Fein for Congress

Contact: Mattie Fein for Congress Headquarters, +1-310-892-5936

SOURCE Mattie Fein for Congress