Obama Extends Carter-Era Sanctions on Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - President Obama on Tuesday renewed Carter-era sanctions against Iran, a technical move that nevertheless highlights this past week's failure to reach a deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Declaring that “relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal,” Obama announced that he had “determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12170 with respect to Iran.” The order freezing all Iranian assets in the United States has been in place since President Jimmy Carter signed it on November 4, 1979 – the day Iranian protesters took over US embassy in Tehran.
Obama's notice follows the failure of the United States and other nations to strike a preliminary deal with Iran as a prelude to a comprehensive agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry said the parties had come “very, very close” to a deal.
Kerry is scheduled to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to ask that new sanctions be delayed at least until negotiators meet again on November 20. He faces an uphill fight in the Senate, where Republicans are expected to tell him this week that the case for a delay is no longer credible after the administration put a deal on the table that many of them consider too soft on Iran.
In recent years the US has slapped stringent sanctions on Iran under the pretext that the country's nuclear program might have a covert drive towards acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, a charge denied by Iran.
Iranian officials asserts that the nuclear issue is just an excuse for the US and some other western countries to imposed such sanctions as most of such sanctions predate Iran's nuclear issue and are as old as the Islamic system in the country.
Iran has been hit with dozens of sanctions in the last ten years. Some of them are based on UN Security Council resolutions, others are decisions by the European Union, others are acts of the US Congress and still others are executive orders by the US president.
Earlier this month, On Sunday, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said that the US enmity towards Iran was not due to Iran’s nuclear program, which he described as a "pretext for Americans," but stressed that the US is opposed to “the entity of the Islamic Republic as well as the influence, credibility and might” of the system chosen by the Iranian nation.
"Was there the issue of nuclear program when the US imposed sanction on Iran in the beginning of the revolution, or when it targeted an Iranian passenger aircraft and killed 290 people onboard it, did it have the nuclear program pretext?" asked the Leader.
And just before the new round of talks between Iran and six world powers started in Geneva on November 7, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with France 24 television in Paris that there is a great deal of mistrust in Iran concerning the attitude, the behaviour and the approach of some members of G5+1.
He was referring to Iran’s interlocutors -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. Zarif pointed out that the “trust of the Iranian people must be regained” -- alluding to the deeply ingrained misgivings in Iran towards the West, which has risen significantly in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution of 1979.