A modest measure against Iran obliges a West Hartford father to speak for an absent son

It’s a bill that doesn’t change state investment policy. It merely reaffirms the power of state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier to divest from companies who do business with Iran.

But it was enough for Leonard Eisenfeld, a neonatologist at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, to attend a public hearing today and retell the story of his son’s death at the hands of an Iranian-assisted terrorist.

If passed by the General Assembly, the divestment bill will be a public statement applauded by Eisenfeld. Nineteen other states have passed such measures, each adding to the pressure on companies who do business with Iran.

“You never know when you make a critical difference with a small addition,” Eisenfeld said.

The 15th anniversary of the bombing that killed Matt Eisenfeld, his girlfriend, Sara Duker, and 24 others is Feb. 25. The doctor has told the story before, in testimony before the General Assembly and in Washington.

Matt was a recent graduate of Yale, Sara from Barnard. They boarded a bus in Jerusalem, where they were studying. A terrorist detonated a suicide bomb.

“The orders for this act of terrorism, training and funding came from Iran,” Eisenfeld said. “This information was given to us originally by the State Department of the United States.”

The U.S. already bans American companies from doing business with Iran. Nappier said the bill would reaffirm her ability to divest itself of stock in foreign companies that still trade with the nation.

Nappier testified in support of the bill, sections of which are modeled after a 2006 law that allows her to divest from companies doing business in Sudan. Eisenfeld thanked her. They kissed.

Eisenfeld said the legislation, even if a small gesture, is an important statement and a means to keep alive the memories of his son and girlfriend. It was a bill worth the time of a neonatologist who also teaches pediatrics at UConn.

“Matthew did not believe in moments of silence,” he said.