Obama Declares Continuation of US National Emergency on Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Lame-duck US President Barack Obama has extended his country’s national emergency against Iran, claiming that “certain actions and policies of the Government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region”.

Obama Declares Continuation of US National Emergency on Iran

In a letter to Congress on Friday, Obama said that the national emergency, which was declared on March 15, 1995, “is to continue in effect beyond March 15, 2017."

However, he admitted in the letter that Iran has fully met its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers.

"...January 16, 2016, marked Implementation Day under the JCPOA, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report verifying that Iran had completed key nuclear-related steps as specified in the JCPOA, and the Secretary of State confirmed the report's findings."

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) reached the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in July 2015 and implemented it in January this year.

“Since Implementation Day, the IAEA has repeatedly verified, and the Secretary of State has confirmed, that Iran continues to meet its nuclear commitments pursuant to the JCPOA. Nevertheless, certain actions and policies of the Government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Iran and to maintain in force comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat,” Obama further claimed in his letter.

In November, Obama extended a separate national emergency against Iran, which was originally declared by former US President Jimmy Carter on November 14, 1979.

A state of emergency gives the US president special powers, including the ability to seize property, summon the National Guard and hire and fire military officers at will.

The state of emergency also forms the basis for most US sanctions against other countries.

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