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    United States renews 1979 sanctions against Iran

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    U.S. President Barack Obama has renewed the 1979 financial sanctions against Iran.

    U.S. President Barack Obama has renewed the 1979 financial sanctions against Iran, the White House reported.

    "Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the January 19, 1981, agreements with Iran is still underway, the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, must continue in effect beyond November 14, 2010," Obama said in a notice to Congress on Wednesday.

    The decision is technical, as the U.S. president extends the sanctions, introduced after U.S. embassy staff were taken hostage in Tehran in November 1979, every year.

    The United States and Iran broke off diplomatic ties in 1979, when Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.

    In January 1981, the United States and Iran signed agreements with Algerian mediation. The agreements were called upon to resolve the crisis with American hostages still held then by Iranians. They also contained a few basic principles to heal the bilateral relations.

    The United States has since initiated the introduction of international UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.

    The West suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic insists it needs nuclear power for solely civilian purposes.

    WASHINGTON, November 11 (RIA Novosti)

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