NFTC Urges Full Review of Iran Sanctions

Thursday, 5 April 2001

In the letter, NFTC President William A. Reinsch provided the following rationale in support of a serious review:

The 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act is an extra-territorial sanction against non-U.S. companies. ILSA’s extra-territorial reach will continue to have important negative diplomatic consequences if it is renewed and enforced;
Significant changes have taken place in Iran since sanctions against U.S. firms were imposed in 1995 and ILSA was enacted in 1996. A review of U.S. sanctions policy should reflect those changes;
It is important for Congress to give the new Bush Administration time to take a fresh look at existing policies and to develop its own approach;
Now that six years have passed, the effectiveness and costs of current sanctions on Iran need a fair and objective evaluation. This evaluation should be allowed to take place before present policies are extended;
Our allies and trading partners have not followed our lead in sanctions policy toward Iran and it is important to evaluate whether unilateral U.S. sanctions on Iran can be effective in a globalized world economy.
“The diplomatic and commercial costs of these sanctions has been high and their impact on relevant Iranian policies has been minimal,” said Reinsch.  “A policy of engagement that includes an expanded private sector role can advance U.S. policy goals.”

The National Foreign Trade Council is a leading business organization advocating a rules-based world economy. Founded in 1914 by a group of American companies that supported an open world trading system, the NFTC now serves more than 500 member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.

Read the Letter

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