United States President Barack Obama has extended the national emergency against Iran by one more year, which has been in place since 1979.
“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, the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, must continue in effect beyond November 14, 2011,” Mr. Obama said in a notice.
The extension of the national emergency against Iran came as the White House noted that it expects the forthcoming report of the International Atomic Energy Agency would echo its concerns about Iranian behaviour.
“We certainly expect it to echo and reinforce what we’ve been saying about Iran’s behaviour and its failure to live up to its international obligations. And it will, I am sure, echo our concern about Iran’s nuclear programme,” White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters.
Because of the leadership of President Barack Obama, he said, the U.S. has mobilised the international community in a way that has never existed before to take action to pressure Iran, to isolate Iran.
“We now have in place the most aggressive, isolating and debilitating sanctions regime ever, and that regime has had an impact, as the Iranian president himself recently noted.”
Asked if military option was still on the table, Mr. Carney said the Obama Administration still continues to focus on a diplomatic channel.
“It is because of the kind of consensus that we have achieved at the international level among our partners and allies in dealing with Iran that we are able to continue to isolate and put pressure on Iran and to insist that Iran get right with the world and live up to its international obligations.
“We are focused on diplomacy. We, of course, never remove from the table any option in a situation like this, but we are very focused on diplomacy, and we certainly think that is appropriate and our approach here has had the kind of effect, the positive effect, in terms of pressuring and isolating Iran,” Mr. Carney said.
The White House, he said, is focused on working with its international partners and allies on isolating Iran, pressuring Iran, pushing it to live up to its international obligations with regards to its nuclear programme.
“That approach has had an effect, we are certainly now in a situation that did not exist before, where, because of the dual-track approach that this president took and this administration took, it is now clear to the world that the US is not the issue here; it is Iran; it is Iranian behaviour,” he said.
“That has allowed us to mobilise the international community in a way that hasn’t existed in the past and to come together, putting pressure on Iran to change its behaviour,” Mr. Carney said.