Biden renews anti-Iran sanctions, US national emergency
President Joe Biden has renewed the US national emergency declared in 1995 with respect to Iran and the comprehensive sanctions against Iran for another year.
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In a letter sent to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday, Biden said, "I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 with respect to Iran and to maintain in force comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat," according to the White House.
He also claimed that the actions and policies of the Iranian government pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.
The US president further alleged that Tehran is proliferating and developing "missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities," supporting "terrorist groups” and maintaining what it called "network and campaign of regional aggression.”
The administration of former US president Trump unilaterally abandoned the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, and unleashed the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” with the stated objective of forcing Iran to negotiate “a better agreement.”
Tehran refused to bow down to pressure and threats and responded to Washington’s pressure policy with “maximum resistance.”
President Joe Biden has indicated his government's willingness to return to the agreement, but Washington has been dragging its feet on taking any meaningful measure to undo the former US government's wrongs.
The US president, who had said Trump’s maximum-pressure policy was “maximum failure”, has not changed that policy, with Tehran saying “Washington is addicted to pressure, sanctions and bullying, and it does not work with Iran.”
The US is demanding to see changes from Tehran before Washington would consider lifting the sanctions, as demanded by Iran.
The new US government has kept the “maxim pressure” in place while calling for negotiations.
The Islamic Republic says there is no need for talks on Washington’s return to the JCPOA, and that America only needs to remove the sanctions for gaining the right to rejoin the deal.
Earlier this week, two Senate Republicans called on the US State Department to back a new arms embargo on Iran.
Senators Joni Ernst and Bill Hagerty sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to impose the ban on Tehran after a similar ban from the United Nations expired last October.
"We must impose a meaningful and effective arms embargo, complete with secondary sanctions, to prevent countries and businesses from selling weapons and arms to Iran as well as preventing Iran from selling its weapons abroad," they wrote, claiming that “Iran is not only a threat to US security, but also to our allies and partners.”
The UN Security Council (UNSC) imposed an arms embargo on Iran in 2007. It was lifted on October 18, 2020 under Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA.
The Trump administration tried twice, but failed to keep the arms ban in force against Iran.