On Aug. 10, 2011, the night before Mitt Romney participated in a Republican primary debate in Iowa, the Republican nominee took an extraordinary step: He unloaded a boatload of stocks that may have been problematic in his run for the Oval Office.

Some of those investments included securities from companies with ties to Iran to investments in the state-owned Chinese oil company, CNOOC. The sale of these investments was confirmed in Romney's 2011 tax returns, which the candidate released to the public on September 21. Also enclosed in his 2011 tax return were the addresses of his Cayman Islands interests and the performance of his Goldman Sachs funds.

Many of these investments were made through the Romney Family Trust, a blind trust run by a trustee. Romney has claimed he didn't know what investments were inside the trust.

Here are 10 investments Mitt Romney wishes he never made:

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  • Stem Cell Research

    In 2007, Romney <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/mitt-romney-divestment-pledge_n_1249118.html">held between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of shares in Novo Nordisk</a>, a Danish pharmaceutical company that engages in limited use of stem cells for research. He sold the stock in 2010. His trust also made investments in Fresenius Medical Care, a German firm that has also done stem cell research. Romney <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/us/politics/15romney.html">has supported stem cell research in the past</a>, but today he opposes any use of human embryonic stem cells for research into diseases and other medical issues because the work could destroy viable human embryos.

  • Chinese State-Owned Oil Companies

    In 2009 and 2010, the W. Mitt Romney blind trust invested $77,262 in shares of Cnooc Limited, the Chinese state-owned oil company, which he later sold for a profit of more than $8,100 on Aug. 10, 2011, according to the <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/romneys-family-trust-invested-in-chinese-oil-company/"><em>New York Times</em></a>. He reportedly has had other investments in a Chinese oil company that was identified by the Congressional Research Service as a likely violator of the Iran Sanctions Act, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/mitt-romney-divestment-pledge_n_1249118.html">according to the Associated Press</a>.

  • The 'Morning-After Pill'

    The Romneys have invested money in Teva Pharmaceutical, an Israeli company that engages in stem cell research and also manufactures "Plan B One-Step," the emergency contraceptive known as the "morning-after pill." This pill is opposed by anti-abortion groups. <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/02/08/420990/mitt-romney-is-financially-invested-in-the-birth-control-he-now-opposes/">According to ThinkProgress.com</a>, Romney has invested in other birth-control manufacturers via an index fund with Goldman Sachs.

  • Credit Suisse Group

    The Romney trust held investments in Switzerland-based Credit Suisse Groupe until August 2011. In 2009, the bank was fined <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/business/16bank.html">$536 million for violating Iran trade sanctions</a> in 2009. Romney sold these investments the day before a Republican primary debate in Iowa in 2011, <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/romneys-family-trust-invested-in-chinese-oil-company/" target="_hplink">according to</a> the <em>New York Times</em>. Though Romney is no longer invested in the Swiss bank, the bank is invested in him: Earlier this year a Credit Suisse banker appealed to subordinates to donate money to the Romney campaign, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/02/us-usa-campaign-romney-creditsuisse-idUSTRE8211BG20120302">according to a Reuters story</a>.

  • Other Chinese Companies

    In addition to Chinese oil companies, between 2009 and 2010 the W. Mitt Romney blind trust bought and sold shares of Chinese companies including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Life Insurance and New Oriental Education, a company sued in 2003 by a U.S. firm for copyright infringement, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/mitt-romney-divestment-pledge_n_1249118.html">according to reports</a>.

  • BNP Paribas

    Between mid-2009 and mid-2010, the Romney trusts made large investments in securities from BNP Paribas, a French bank with ties to Iran. The bank halted new business in Iran in 2007 but still has outstanding loans in the country. In all, Romney's family trusts bought more than 2.6 million shares, which were all sold in late 2010 for about $2.5 million, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/mitt-romney-divestment-pledge_n_1249118.html">according to the Associated Press.</a>

  • Intesa Sanpaolo

    Romney's trust bought and sold shares in Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian bank that has been under investigation by U.S. authorities for handling of Iranian funds. <a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/2010/12/20/iran-oil-italy-idINLDE6BC0FK20101220">According to Reuters</a>, the bank suspended financing Iranian oil trading deals in December 2010, becoming the last Italian bank to bow to pressure from the United States to cut ties with the country.

  • Komatsu

    Romney's trust has made trades with Japanese company Komatsu, the world's second-largest construction equipment maker. The company has had business with Iran in the past, but <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/12/10/idUS190828+10-Dec-2010+BW20101210">stopped business with the country at the end of 2010</a>. Romney sold these investments the day before a Republican primary debate in Iowa in 2011, <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/romneys-family-trust-invested-in-chinese-oil-company/" target="_hplink">according to</a> the <em>New York Times</em>.

  • ArcelorMittal

    According to Romney's tax returns, Mitt and Ann Romney <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/09/22/next-tax-argument-romneys-foreign-investments/">had many investments in offshore firms</a> such as ArcelorMittal, a steel company based in Luxembourg with operations around the world.

  • FLSmidth

    Romney's investments have included FLSmidth, a Danish machinery company that does business in South America, Africa and other countries around the world. Romney sold these investments the day before a Republican primary debate in Iowa in 2011, <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/romneys-family-trust-invested-in-chinese-oil-company/" target="_hplink">according to</a> the <em>New York Times</em>.

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