As the deadline for an Iran nuclear deal draws closer, President Barack Obama told Congress in a routine letter Wednesday that he is extending an executive order first signed by President Jimmy Carter regarding the government of Iran.
In this handout photo provided by the White House, President Barack Obama speaks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office September 27, 2013 in Washington D.C. (Getty Images)
“In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Iran that was declared in Executive Order 12170 of November 14,1979, is to continue in effect beyond November 14, 2014,” Obama said in the letter to Congress.
“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 declared in Executive Order 12170 with respect to Iran,” the letter continues.
A similar letter has been sent by each president each November to Congress since the 1979 executive order, White House national security spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told TheBlaze. So, while the notification is not a new development, it comes just weeks before the Nov. 24 deadline for a P5+1 agreement on Iranian nuclear production.
It also comes a day after Russia signed a contract to build more nuclear reactors in Iran.
There has been significant bipartisan skepticism about such a deal in Congress, and the administration has reportedly considered entering a deal without congressional consent.
Obama also wrote a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the White House has declined to talk about the content of the correspondence.
The Carter executive order Obama is extending says: “I hereby order blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of Iran, its instrumentalities and controlled entities and the Central Bank of Iran which are or become subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or which are in or come within the possession or control of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”