Iran Advances Bill to Retaliate for U.S. Action on Elite Forces

Iranians set ablaze a US flag during an anti-US rally in Tehran on April 12.

Photographer: AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s parliament approved the outlines of a bill to retaliate for the U.S. designation of the Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist organization, Ali Najafi-Khoshroudi, spokesman for parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, was cited as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

The bill declares that U.S. Central Command forces in West Asia and any organizations or bodies working under them against Iran are terrorists. It further states that any financial, technical and training support, services and supplies to these forces will be regarded as engaging in an act of terrorism.

The Wall Street Journal on April 6 cited unidentified U.S. officials as saying that the terrorism designation of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards was planned, backed by National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Central Intelligence Agency and Pentagon warned against it, the Journal reported.

A designation would be the latest in a salvo of offensive measures taken by the Trump administration against Iran as it seeks to isolate and weaken a country it says is destabilizing the Middle East. The U.S. last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the oil-rich Persian Gulf state’s economy with a vow to wipe out its crude exports.

The legislation in Iran lets the government take decisive and retaliatory measures against actions by U.S. and other forces that jeopardize the Islamic Republic’s interests. The bill also requires limits on the access of U.S. and other forces to facilities, equipment, financial resources and other potential assistance from other countries.

The full parliament will discuss the measure Monday after the national security and foreign policy commission’s first review.

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