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Excerpt: On August 10, 2012, President Obama signed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act into law. The act is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1905enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr1905enr.pdf.
The purpose of the act is to expand U.S. sanctions against Iran in order to compel Iran to stop pursuing a nuclear weapons program and other controversial initiatives.
Public companies, however, may have new disclosure obligations as a consequence of the act. Among other things, the act requires that companies subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) make certain disclosures relating to activities that they and their worldwide affiliates knowingly engage in involving Iran in their quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This provision of the act does not require additional rulemaking by the SEC in order to be effective. As a consequence, public reporting companies must comply with the new reporting obligations under the act by February 6, 2013.