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BEAR FLAG REPUBLIC VERSUS THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

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Under the US Constitution, jurisdiction over interstate commerce and foreign affairs rests with the federal government. This anomaly in the application of the basic tenets of American federalism results in some unusual situations. Take for example, the current conflict being (lethargically) waged by the California insurance commissioner against the Islamic Republic of Iran. A real issue of international importance is on the agenda of both the federal government and the California Insurance Department. It concerns the Islamic Republic of Iran and its nuclear ambitions. In late June 2009, the California Insurance Department launched an investigation into insurer investments in "state sponsors of terrorism." The California legislature passed a law in order to deny state sponsors of terrorism the benefit of insurer investment funds. Protection of the insurers' investment portfolios from political or economic risk of loss was at best an afterthought concocted in the insurance department.

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