Obama extends Carter-era sanctions on Iran

President Obama on Tuesday renewed Carter-era sanctions against Iran, a technical move that nevertheless highlights this past week's failure to reach a deal on Iran's nuclear program.

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Declaring that “relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal,” Obama announced that he had “determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12170 with respect to Iran.” The order freezing all Iranian assets in the United States has been in place since President Jimmy Carter signed it on Nov. 4, 1979 – the day Iranian protesters took 52 Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Obama's notice follows the failure of the United States and other nations to strike a preliminary deal with Iran as a prelude to a comprehensive agreement. Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in MORE said the parties had come “very, very close” to a deal.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to ask that new sanctions be delayed at least until negotiators meet again on Nov. 20. He faces an uphill fight in the Senate, where Republicans are expected to tell him this week that the case for a delay is no longer credible after the administration put a deal on the table that many of them consider too soft on Iran.

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