Obama extends sanctions on Iran
US President Barack Obama extended US sanctions for at least another year on Thursday, saying the Iranian government's policies continue to pose an "extraordinary threat" to the United States.
The United States enacted tight sanctions on Iran following the 1979 hostage crisis and they have remained in place since. Although Obama has pledged to seek better relations with Tehran, he extended the sanctions that would have expired Saturday under a 1995 law, dpa reported.
"The actions and policies of the government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," Obama said.
During the campaign, Obama pledged to seek greater dialogue with Iran, namely to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. His administration is conducting a review of policy toward Iran and has yet to reveal any conclusions. Obama has said, however, he will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
Iran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful use to generate energy.