While Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was a top executive at ExxonMobil, the company did business through a European subsidiary with three countries under U.S. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism, filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission show.
The sales were conducted by Infineum, a joint venture with Shell Corporation in which ExxonMobil owned a 50 percent stake, from 2003 to 2005, USA Today reports. Filings from 2006 show the company had $53.2 million in sales to Iran, $600,000 to Sudan, and $1.1 million to Syria over those three years. Tillerson was named senior vice president in 2001, and became president and director in March 2004 and chairman and CEO on Jan. 1, 2006.
ExxonMobil told USA Today that because Infineum was based in Europe, the transactions did not involve any American employees, making them legal. It's likely that the deals, and ExxonMobil's failure to let shareholders know it conducted transactions with state sponsors of terrorism, will be brought up during Tillerson's confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.