USA*Engage Urges Thorough Review of Iran Sanctions

Friday, 20 April 2001

In the letter, USA*Engage Chairman Don Deline urged lawmakers to defer action on ILSA pending the Administration’s policy review. He further urged Congress to view these sanctions in light of: 

·        The effectiveness of current policy after so many years;

·        The impact on U.S. relations with our allies and trading partners;

·        The long-term energy security of the U.S. at a time of need for expanded energy sources;

·        The wisdom of excluding ourselves from the development of energy resources in two countries that lead the world in new projects.

“U.S. sanctions on Iran and Libya are good examples of failed unilateral sanctions,” Deline wrote in the letter. “While the objectives of U.S. policy toward Iran and Libya are inarguable the sanctions have served only to exclude U.S. companies from Iran while that country’s needs for investment, civilian technology and capital goods are being met by other countries around the globe.”

USA*Engage urged Congress to consider the original principles advanced by the coalition when it was begun in 1997:

·        America’s values and interests are best advanced by sustained involvement in world affairs by both public and private sectors;

·        The Expansion of free market economies and higher living standards are crucial to both political freedom and respect for human rights;

·        Challenges to U.S. interests and the rule of law should be addressed as much as possible in concert with our allies and trading partners;

·        The U.S. government should adopt a standard of ongoing accountability so that unilateral sanctions programs are evaluated by whether they achieve their intended results, the costs imposed on Americans in terms of lost jobs and reduced incomes, and the damage done by sanctions to other national interests.

USA*Engage does not believe the current sanctions on Iran and Libya have satisfied these criteria.

USAHENGAGE is a coalition of over 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 USAHENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USAHENGAGE web site at

Read the Letter

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