US extends national emergency over Iran

US extends national emergency over Iran

US President Barack Obama has renewed an executive order that extends for another year a so-called "National Emergency" with regards to Iran, in place since 1995, Press TV reported.

Obama's move comes despite the recent nuclear deal that was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in July last year and went into effect in January.

The accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) puts limits on Tehran's peaceful nuclear program in exchange for removal of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The executive order means non-nuclear US sanctions against Iran will remain in effect for at least another year.

"Despite the historic deal to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, certain actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," Obama wrote in a notice that was posted on the White House's official website.

The president noted that the "renewal, therefore, is distinct from the emergency renewal of November 2015."

Back then, Obama extended Washington's decades-old "state of emergency" with respect to Iran that has been in place since 1979 and keeps sanctions against the Islamic Republic in place for one more year.

On January 17, only a day after the landmark nuclear deal went into effect, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on Iran for its test launch of ballistic missile on October 11, claiming that the test was a violation of the JCPOA.

Iran dismissed the allegations, with Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan saying the missile was a conventional weapon.

The state of emergency forms the basis for most US sanctions against other countries including Iran and Venezuela. A similar notice was issued for the latter last week that declared the South American country a threat to the US.

American presidents have declared about 53 states of emergency since Congress passed the National Emergencies Act in 1976.

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