USA*ENGAGE Calls for Multilateral Iranian Policy

Wednesday, 15 October 1997

"The multibillion dollar Iranian oil deal is a clear indication that U.S. unilateral sanctions have failed," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "We are hopeful that the U.S. will not escalate trade tensions by moving ahead with unilateral sanctions against several of our key allies and trading partners. As always, we endorse U.S. efforts to more fully engage the international community when attempting to influence the behavior of foreign governments."

Continued U.S. threats of unilateral sanctions based on ILSA are seen as likely to drive a wedge between the United States and the EU and ASEAN -- as well as other allies and trading partners. In addition, U.S. sanctions could actually hinder efforts to gain international cooperation on a range of U.S. foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East.

"Since 1993, the United States has, in effect, 'cheapened the currency' of economic sanctions by imposing -- or threatening to impose -- unilateral sanctions against 75 countries representing 52 percent of the world's population," continued Kittredge. "Given the gravity and complexity of issues in the Middle East, the United States must work closely with its allies. There is too much at stake to rely on the blunt instrument of unilateral sanctions."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 652 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad.


Contact: Eric Thomas at 202-822-9491