US extends national emergency against Iran for another year

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 00:42

Washington: The US on Tuesday extended its national emergency against Iran for another year arguing the relationship with Tehran has not returned to normal yet, even as the two are working in this regard.

The White House renewed its state of emergency with Iran -- declared in 1979 and renewed periodically since then.

"Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency," President Barack Obama said in a communique to the US Congress.

Such a move comes as the international community led by the US appear to be reaching an agreement with Iran on the latter`s nuclear weapons program.

In an interview to BBC, Secretary of State John Kerry, said the Iranian leadership is anxious to reach an agreement in the sense that their sanctions are very, very difficult and it`s creating difficulties at home.

"They have some priorities. I don`t want to speculate about their negotiating strategy or anything; I think they have a right to define that for themselves. What`s important is that we had unity about a way to proceed forward. We presented it. They need to contemplate it, look at it, evaluate it. Our teams need to continue to work, and hopefully the world will be served," Kerry said.

"I mean, this is not something we`re doing because it`s nice. This is something we`re doing because the world wants to know that we`re not going to have another country with nuclear weapons, that they`re not going to threaten the region," he said.

"We obviously want to protect the interests of the near neighbors: Israel, Jordan, Turkey, the other countries that do not want to see an Iranian nuclear weapon," he said in response to a question.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 00:42

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