WASHINGTON - Libertarian National Committee Chair, Mark Hinkle, released the following statement today:
"As relations with Iran deteriorate, President Barrack Obama and the Bipartisan Senate Committee are making things worse: inciting yet another war in the Middle East through economic sanctions.
"On February 2nd, 2012 the Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved increased sanctions against Iran. Not willing to wait for a full Senate vote, President Obama increased sanctions by executive order on February 6th.
"The United States must stop meddling and return to our traditional libertarian foreign policy of free trade in order to give peace a chance in the Middle East.
"Trade sanctions are proven failures. In the 1990s, Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton enforced trade sanctions against Iraq which led to the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent men, women and children.
"Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in an appearance on 60 Minutes in 1996, was asked about the child deaths from sanctions, and replied "I think this a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it." Albright's willingness to sacrifice Arab children to achieve US policy goals was broadcast throughout the Arab world and was cited by Osama Bin Laden as a key motivation for the 9/11 attacks.
"Now the US government is doing the same thing to Iran, a country that not only has never attacked the United States, but has attacked no other country in over 200 years.
"Sanctions don't work. They unite the people of a country behind their political leaders, no matter how bad that leader may be. By meddling in foreign affairs, U.S. politicians turn foreign citizens - who support the United States - against us.
"Rather than repeat failed policies of past presidents, we must use the successful policies of those who kept us out of war. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson kept the United States out of the bloody French Revolution and allowed us to make peace with our archenemy, the British, by pursuing Free Trade and a noninterventionist foreign policy.
"The Libertarian Party calls for removing all restrictions on trade. Free Trade is the best way to foster peace in the Middle East.