U.S. President Barack Obama extended Friday a state of emergency order against Iran, which has now been in effect since 1979 when an Executive Order was first signed by President Jimmy Carter.
The Executive Order allows the President to impose sanctions “to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the situation in Iran.”
“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, 2012,” said the notice, which was signed by Obama.
Friday’s news follows upon the U.S. Department of State reporting yesterday to Congress the designations of four Iranian individuals and five Iranian entities for having engaged in censorship or other activities that prohibit, limit, or penalize freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, or that limit access to print or broadcast media, including by jamming international satellite broadcasts into Iran, and related activities.
Those designated include Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Reza Taghipour, who has been found responsible for ordering the jamming of satellite television broadcasts and restricting internet connectivity, said U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.
Also sanctioned are Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and its Press Supervisory Board, which have limited freedom of expression through their censorship and closure of numerous newspapers and detention of journalists.