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USA*Engage and NFTC Statement on Introduction of New Iran Sanctions Legislation
Date: 12/19/2013
Written By: Nicole L’Esperance, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, (202) 822-9491

Washington, DC – USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today released the following statement on the introduction of new Iran sanctions legislation.

"USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council urge senators to oppose legislation introduced today by Senators Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk, and instead support the Administration's effort to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran to limit Iran's nuclear development to peaceful uses under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.

"The interim agreement, in fact, gives the P5+1 and their Iranian counterparts diplomatic space and time for the effort. It also retains intact the unprecedented multilateral sanctions regime directed at Iran's economy. The indubitably modest sanctions relief will be implemented only upon verification that Iran stops the activities enumerated in the interim agreement.

"Given the minimal risk and the possibility of real success, we dispute the argument that Congressional passage of further prospective sanctions now will add leverage against Iran in the negotiations. On the contrary, such an action would violate the stipulation that no new sanctions be enacted during the course of the negotiations. It strains credulity to assert that passing prospective sanctions now will increase the prospects for a successful negotiation, still less legislating any sine qua non standard for an agreement.

"The Senate will retain the ability to pass further sanctions expeditiously down the road if the current diplomatic effort fails. Exercising appropriate restraint in the present will insure that the United States, the members of the European Union and the other countries that have allied to limit Iran's nuclear program to verifiable peaceful uses remain united in the effort."

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About USA*Engage

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 policymakers, 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.

About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for A Century- 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.
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