USA*Engage Expresses Disappointment Over Senate Approval of Unilateral Iran Sanctions Amendment

Friday, 30 November 2012
Washington, DC – USA*Engage today expressed disappointment with the Senate’s vote in favor of an amendment to S. 3254, the National Defense Authorization Act, which would impose additional U.S. unilateral sanctions on Iran. USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya released the following statement:

“The Senate’s vote today to approve additional unilateral Iran sanctions is at odds with the U.S. government’s official position of pursuing a dual track of multilateral sanctions and diplomatic engagement. The vote was unfortunate, and we are deeply disappointed.

“At a time when thoughtful diplomacy and working in concert with U.S. allies is critical, the Senate’s action today flies in the face of pursuing common purpose.

“If there is but one provision in the entire amendment that makes sense, it is the explicit protection of humanitarian trade in agricultural products, food, medicine and medical devices. We hope that the administration will clarify the financing of this type of trade moving forward.”

On Wednesday, as the Senate began its consideration of the defense authorization bill, Sawaya sent a letter to all Senators, urging them to oppose any amendments to the bill that would impose additional U.S. unilateral sanctions.