Funding of the Iran-China Strategic Partnership via the U.S. Capital Markets


31 Jan 2024/Elias Sköld, Emma Sage, Nico Mastrangelo

PSSI's Economic and Financial Statecraft team has just published the results of an in-depth open-source intelligence investigation which uncovered a pipeline from American investment funds to publicly-listed Chinese companies, to Iranian interests. Our researchers identified 40 Chinese companies involved in projects of strategic benefit to the Iranian regime, with U.S.-based capital markets investment totalling over $6 billion. These findings made national news and have a direct bearing on pending legislation.

The report examines companies across a variety of critical sectors, including Oil, Arms and Surveillance/Communications. It outlines the business structures which have allowed companies to evade accountability for their actions, even while under U.S. sanctions. It also names the asset management firms who have directed U.S. investor capital into these companies, and shows that Vanguard in particular holds the securities of 38 out of a total of 40 companies. 

Finally, the report demands immediate regulatory action to close the loopholes which permit Western funds to be invested into these companies. PSSI is committed to seeing a comprehensive congressional investigation into U.S. capital markets funding foreign adversaries, and will continue the fight to make capital markets safer for investors and responsive to the dictates of national security. 

The report is available in full here