Bush extends Iran sanctions amid N-row

The decision came as Bush piled on pressure on Iran over its nuclear programmes.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 15:23 IST

US President George W Bush has renewed sanctions barring US firms and citizens from oil dealings with Iran, citing an "unusual and extraordinary threat" from Tehran.

The decision - which extends by one year sanctions initially imposed by then president Bill Clinton on March 15, 1995 - came on Monday as Bush has piled on pressure on Iran over its nuclear programmes.

Washington accuses the Islamic republic of covertly seeking atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies. The two countries have also clashed over the political process in Iraq.

In an odd omission, however, the statement renewing the sanctions did not list the usual annual US complaints about Iran, including "support for international terrorism, efforts to undermine the Middle East peace process, and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them."

But White House national security spokesman Fred Jones assured AFP that "those issues have not been resolved."

Washington is concerned about Tehran's "support for terrorism, meddling in the region, abysmal human rights record and pursuit of nuclear weapons," he said.

First Published: Mar 14, 2006 15:23 IST