President Obama on Friday renewed America’s 33-year-old state of emergency against Iran.
The status was instituted by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 following Iran’s Islamic revolution, and allows the President greater autonomy in imposing sanctions and dealing with “unusual and extraordinary threat[s] to the national security, foreign policy and economy”.
Obama’s announcement followed a Treasury Department decision to impose additional sanctions against Iranian officials and institutions oppressing and censoring Iranian citizens.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said sanctions against Iran were meant to keep Iran from cutting Iranians off from the world with an “electronic curtain”.
Officials being sanctioned include the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and the Press Supervisory Board.