President Joe Biden on Tuesday renewed the 1979 US national emergency with respect to Iran, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The national emergency was announced on November 14, 1979 when radical students in Tehran seized the US embassy and took hostage dozens of diplomats, staff and guards.

The decision by then-president Jimmy Carter was meant “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.”

In renewing the national emergency Biden said, “Our relations with Iran have not yet normalized, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is ongoing. For this reason, the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond November 14, 2021.”

A different national emergency with respect to Iran was declared by former president Bill Clinton in March 1995, which Biden renewed on March 5 for one year.

Multilateral talks with Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) will later this month, but Iran has adopted a tough posture and optimism with regard to the success of the talks is not very high.

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