NFTC and USA*Engage Express Disappointment Over Senate’s Approval of Additional Unilateral Iran Sanctions

Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today released the following statement in response to the Senate’s approval of the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act of 2012.

“Last evening, the Senate voted to add further unilateral measures to the maze of sanctions directed at the Islamic Republic of Iran. While the provisions appear moderate as compared to the House-passed package the Senate rejected, their unilateral cast, in the midst of ongoing negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5 plus one countries, at best muddy the waters,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “We hope that Congress will take a collective breath and permit the Administration to carry through with the negotiations. The Administration has managed to date to effectively marshal a multilateral approach to using economic sanctions as a negotiating tool.”

“Imposing unilateral prohibitions on any entity involved in joint ventures with an Iranian entity anywhere in the world in the energy sector as a matter of law could entail unintended consequences for companies, U.S. or foreign, that have no involvement in Iran’s energy sector. Similarly, requiring companies that trade on the U.S. stock exchange to disclose any Iran-related business to the Securities and Exchange Commission, whether sanctionable or not, at best amounts to another unfunded mandate on the private sector and at worst may expose companies to unwarranted public attack,” said USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya.