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USA*Engage Commends Senate Rejection of Iran Sanctions Language
Date: 6/16/2006

Applauds bipartisan leadership against amendment that would have jeopardized U.S.-Iran talks

Washington, DC – USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today applauded the U.S. Senate for action taken yesterday to vote down an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2007. The amendment, which would have imposed tougher unilateral sanctions on Iran, was defeated by a vote of 45-54.

"Imposing tougher sanctions at this time would undermine important and delicate multilateral diplomacy. Yesterday's vote provides some assurance that the Senate understands that unilateral sanctions can be counterproductive," said Bill Reinsch, President of the NFTC and USA*Engage Co-Chair. "The constructive stance taken today in the Senate will allow the Administration the best opportunity to negotiate and engage in talks with Iran."

The vote came days after Administration officials met with a group of Senators to discuss policy towards
Iran. Following the defeat of Senator Santorum's amendment, the Senate approved a resolution sponsored by Senator Biden, supporting the State Department's diplomatic initiative regarding Iran to end the current impasse over Iran's nuclear program.

"Senators Warner, Biden, Hagel and Levin displayed strong leadership on this issue, and we appreciate the efforts of Secretary Rice for making a good case that engagement must be given a chance to work," said Jake Colvin, Director of USA*Engage. "It is encouraging to see policies and proposals aimed at engaging
Iran diplomatically and economically emerge after years of unilateral sanctions, which have failed to achieve our foreign policy goals."



USA*Engage ( 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 (, 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 ( 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.