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USA*Engage Cautions on IRGC Designation
Date: 10/25/2007
Written By: Eric Thomas or Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington DC – USA*Engage Co-Chair and National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) President William Reinsch today released the following statement in response to the announcement of sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps:

“There is no question that Iran’s effort to develop a nuclear capability poses a threat to peace and stability, but the approach announced today by the administration may move us farther away from our goal of getting Iran to actually change its behavior.

“These sanctions are extraterritorial, and as such are likely to worsen relations with our allies. Given their sweeping nature, they may ultimately end up targeting hundreds of foreign companies that are doing business legally under their national laws. Their reach is so broad that they pose real challenges when it comes to connecting the dots with other companies and entities both inside and outside Iran.

“The most unfortunate element is that the Bush administration is framing this as a diplomatic initiative. In fact, they are sanctions intended to punish Iran, though their primary effect may well be on companies in third countries. As a result they are unlikely to lead to a positive diplomatic outcome. Real diplomacy means utilizing direct diplomatic channels to the government in Iran, and it means working with our allies on concerted multilateral efforts.”
 


USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of 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. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org), USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.