New York: The New York state legislature has passed a bill prohibiting companies doing business with Iran's energy industry from entering into contracts with the state.

The bill called the 'Iran Divestment Act' was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G Skelos.

It would prohibit companies that provide goods, services or credit worth USD 20 million or more to Iran's energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.

"The Senate's swift action shows how important it is that we stand together to condemn tyrannical governments like Iran which sponsor terrorism, have attempted to acquire nuclear weapons and threaten US allies like Israel, as Iran has repeatedly done," Skelos said.

Federal law authorizes state and local governments to divest from companies whose interests in Iran's energy sector directly or indirectly support its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The divestment would apply to companies engaged in oil or natural gas development in Iran, as well any company found to be directly involved in nuclear power.

The legislation directs the New York's Office of General Services to create a list of people, corporations and other organizations with investments of more than USD 20 million in the Iranian energy sector.

Those on the list would be excluded from bidding on government contracts.

The bill also requires individuals or entities to certify that they are not on the list when they submit bids to state and local agencies.