BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You


Romney Owned Stock In Company That Worked With Iran

A small stake in Abbott Labs, which has permission to do business with the Islamic Republic. Among his fellow shareholders: David Plouffe and Bill Daley.

Posted on August 8, 2012, at 3:27 p.m. ET


Republicans continued to needle White House aide David Plouffe Wednesday for giving paid speeches to a company that does business with Iran, releasing a new RNC ad that uses the incident (which took place before he joined the administration) as evidence that President Obama "hasn't changed Washington at all."

But until last May, Mitt Romney owned at least $6,000 of stock in a medical company, Abbott Laboratories, that does business in Iran, according to the candidate's financial disclosures.

The stock's value is small in comparison to Romney's expansive portfolio, but Abbott held the distinction of being the only stock that he listed separately from his various trusts on his 2010 tax returns. A campaign spokesperson did not respond to BuzzFeed's request for comment.

Abbott Laboratories, a health care company that manufactures medical equipment and pharmaceutical drugs, is one of about 4,000 American companies with permission from the U.S. government to bypass sanctions against Iran.

Its CEO, Miles White, is also a big Republican donor who has donated nearly $50,000 to the RNC and PACs since last fall. He donated $2,500 to Romney's campaign last June.

Romney has been critical of Obama's handling of Iran, pledging to adopt a tougher stance if he becomes president.

UPDATE: Plouffe was also a shareholder in Abbott Labs, and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley served on the company's board.