Iranian bill would label CIA, US Army as terrorist groups

Iran announces sanctions against 15 US companies which do business with Israel in retaliation for US sanctions against Islamic Republic.

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Iran's Revolutionary Guards
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Iran said Sunday it will impose sanctions on 15 US companies for supporting Israel's "terrorist actions" as part of reprisals for the increasing pressure being announced by Washington lawmakers.

The decision, which is largely symbolic since the firms do not do business with Iran, come two days after the US announced new sanctions against groups and individuals that it accuses of collaborating with Iran's nuclear weapons program.

The sanctions target firms that provide arms and equipment to Israel "for use against the Palestinians", IRNA said.

"All transactions with these firms are forbidden, their assets will be seized and their officials will not be able to obtain a visa," it added.

The list included defense firms such as United Technologies, Military Armament Corporation and Bushmaster Firearms International, as well as Re/Max Real Estate, which Tehran accuses of "buying and selling homes in settlements located in the occupied territories".

In another tit-for-tat move, Iran's parliamentary foreign affairs committee said it would propose a new law labeling the US army and CIA as terrorist groups.

The announcement was a response to a new bill put forward by US lawmakers that would see Iran's Revolutionary Guards listed as a terrorist organization.

"The American army is present in numerous regional crises such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and provides vast support to terrorist groups," said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, president of the committee, according to a state television report.

Tensions have mounted between Tehran and Washington since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

Trump has repeatedly criticized a July 2015 deal between Iran and world powers that saw the Islamic republic curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Washington last month imposed new sanctions on individuals and companies supporting Iran's ballistic missile program and on its elite Revolutionary Guards.

On Friday, it announced the latest sanctions against entities accused of collaborating with the weapons programs of Iran and North Korea.