NIAC Policy Director Ryan Costello issued the following statement on the House passage of an amendment from Reps. Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-NJ), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue a report to Congress on the humanitarian impact of sanctions and their purported effectiveness:
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“The sad truth is that sanctions are reflexively imposed on adversaries and competitors with little to no regard for their harsh humanitarian impacts or whether they are advancing U.S. interests. For Iran, it has long been apparent that sanctions have done little to advance U.S. interests while impoverishing ordinary citizens and depriving them of basic care. Yet, there is no institutional mechanism to examine these policies to determine their effectiveness and their broad and harmful humanitarian impacts.
“That’s why the amendment from Rep. Garcia and his colleagues is so important, which the Senate should include in its bill and send to the President’s desk for signature. There should be no objection to examining the impacts of our broad and expanding sanctions regimes to determine whether they serve U.S. interests. The Biden administration, as well, is in the midst of a comprehensive review of U.S. sanctions which we hope will soon conclude and result in significant changes to the goals and scope of U.S. sanctions.
“There is no excuse for harming ordinary citizens with sanctions. Only by taking stock of our existing policies can we stop the harm they are doing and course correct.”