In 2010, Rice led talks on a U.N. sanctions resolution on Iran. The Security Council approved a draft developed by Rice, which was described by diplomats as one of the toughest sanctions efforts in the the history of the organization.
However, lacking Chinese and Russian support for further U.N. restrictions, the United States and Europe have adopted their own tougher measures. Iranian oil exports have plunged in recent months, and the United States is pressing countries such as China, South Korea and India for deeper cuts in oil purchases.
Rice is one of the richest members of the Obama Cabinet. She and her husband, Ian Cameron, were worth between $23.5 million and $43.5 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Cameron, a former television producer, is, like Rice, a Stanford University graduate. His father owned Victoria Plywood, a lumber company in British Columbia.
Rice, a Rhodes scholar, worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. before joining the Clinton administration, where she served on the National Security Council and later as assistant secretary of state for african affairs. Her late father was an economics professor, World Bank director and a governor of the Federal Reserve. Her mother is an education expert and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.
The flap over Rice’s investments began Wednesday over much larger stakes she and Cameron have in TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL pipeline, and companies active in the development of Canadian oil sands. Early next year, the State Department is expected to rule on whether to allow the construction of the controversial pipeline, which is opposed by environmental groups.
Several of the companies in which Rice has invested have been cited by an organization called United Against Nuclear Iran, chaired by Mark Wallace, a deputy ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. The organization, which claims bipartisan support in pushing to isolate the Iranian regime, publishes a list of companies doing business in Iran.
The information about Rice’s investments in firms linked to Iran was first reported on the Web site of the Washington Free Beacon, a publication of the Center for American Freedom. The Web site says it is “dedicated to uncovering the stories that the professional left hopes will never see the light of day.”
Colum Lynch at the United Nations contributed to this report.