USA*ENGAGE Urges Change in U.S. Oil Policy Toward Iran

Monday, 18 September 2000

"American companies are prevented by Executive Order from participating in Iran’s oil program," said Frank Kittredge, Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE and President of the National Foreign Trade Council. "Meanwhile, foreign companies are under no such restriction, and can operate in Iran with relative impunity."

Kittredge pointed out that while the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act calls for U.S. sanctions against foreign companies that help Iran develop its petroleum sector, President Clinton has consistently waived these sanctions.

"Overall, U.S. unilateral sanctions against Iran seriously hinder American companies as they compete with foreign firms to provide much-needed petroleum to consumers everywhere," Kittredge said. "It is time to reassess our priorities. Instead of maintaining a sanctions policy against Iran that has not proven effective, the U.S. should pursue a policy of engagement, which would help to promote positive change in Iran and ensure an increased supply of energy resources."

Kittredge concluded by adding that the U.S. eased some elements of the Iranian sanctions this year, which indicates a growing recognition that the sanctions have been ineffective in achieving their stated purpose. He encouraged the Administration to continue exploring ways to engage the Iranians and build a more constructive relationship with that very strategic country.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 670 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. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA*ENGAGE web site at

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