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Thompson dumps stock in 4 companies with Iran ties

Published : Sunday, 21 Oct 2012, 2:01 PM CDT

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Republican Tommy Thompson’s campaign said the Wisconsin Senate candidate sold stock in four companies for $38,000 because they have ties to Iran.

Campaign spokeswoman Lisa Boothe identified the companies Friday as Royal Dutch Shell; Rio Tinto, a London-based mining company; Schlumberger, a Houston-based provider of oil-field services; and Total Petroleum, a petroleum-marketing company based in Africa.

“He rid himself of them as soon as he found out they had any business dealings with Iran, no matter how minor,” Boothe said in a statement.

Thompson first mentioned the stock sale Thursday during a debate with his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin. He said he had sold two stocks that his stockbroker bought without his knowledge.

“I sold it, I sold it today,” Thompson said. “I found out today and I sold it today. I do not tolerate, I do not agree with anybody doing business with Iran – none whatsoever.”

Iran is running a nuclear program that it claims is only for peaceful purposes such as power generation and cancer treatment. But the West and its allies fear that Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium mask a pursuit of atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies.

Thompson’s stock sale represents a small fraction of his wealth. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he has at least $13 million in assets, plus more than $5 million in income since the start of 2010.

Thompson’s campaign has criticized Baldwin for taking nearly $60,000 in donations from the Council for a Livable World, which claims Iran poses no threat to the U.S.

Baldwin spokesman John Kraus noted that the group has also donated to Republicans in the past.

Recent polls show the race is a dead heat.

Copyright Associated Press, Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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