The United States will continue its sanctions against Iran as the Islamic republic is continuing its "unusual and extraordinary threat" to the U.S. security and economy, President Barack Obama announced on Thursday.
"The actions and policies of the government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat" to the U.S. national security and economy, Obama said in a message to Congress.
Washington, long at odds with Tehran, began imposing its routine sanctions against Tehran since 1995 when former President Bill Clinton was in office.
The sanctions, which have been extended on an annual basis by successive presidents, include prohibiting American companies aiding the development of the Iranian oil industry and halting trade, export and import as well as investment ties with Iran.
The announcement by Obama to continue sanctions against Iran came at the time when the U.S. president promised time and again to have diplomatic engagement with U.S. foes, including Iran, to seek the settlement of inter conflicts.
"If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fists, they will find an extended hand from us." Obama said in January.