Iran hits back at US with ‘reciprocal’ sanctions

Sanctions target 15 American companies, which Tehran alleges are supporting ‘atrocities’ by Israel in Palestinian lands.

US protest - Iran
Iran is also considering a bill branding the US military and the CIA as 'terrorist' groups, if the US Congress designates the Revolutionary Guard a 'terrorist' organisation [EPA]

Iran has announced sanctions against 15 US companies, alleging they support “terrorism”, repression and Israel’s occupation of Palestine, in retaliation for measures earlier announced by Washington.

A foreign ministry statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency on Sunday said the sanctions barred companies from any agreements with Iranian firms, and that former and current directors would not be eligible for visas into Iran.

It also said any of the company’s assets in Iran could be seized.

“The sanctioned companies have, directly and/or indirectly, been involved in the brutal atrocities committed by the Zionist regime in the occupied Palestinian territories, or they have supported the regime’s terrorist activities and Israel’s development of Zionist settlements on the Palestinian soil,” the IRNA report said.

READ MORE: Is Trump leading the US on a warpath with Iran?

The report referred to the sanctions as a “reciprocal act,” without elaborating.

Iran’s new sanctions come after US President Donald Trump‘s administration in February sanctioned more than two dozen people and companies in retaliation for a recent ballistic missile test.

The wide-ranging list from an American real estate company to a major arms manufacturer appeared more symbolic than anything else, as the firms were not immediately known to be doing business anywhere in the Islamic Republic.

The companies named did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Among the companies targeted are ITT Corp, missile-maker Raytheon and truck maker Oshkosh, which has worked closely with Israeli armoured-products maker, Plasan.

The Israeli defence ministry is reportedly seeking to buy some 200 tactical trucks from the Wisconsin-based company.

Kahr Arms and Magnum Research, two sanctioned firms which share the same parent company, advertise .44-calibre Magnum and .50-calibre “Desert Eagle” pistols – a product line that previously has been made in Israel.

In recent months, Boeing has struck a $16.6bn deal with Iran for passenger planes [File: Reuters]
In recent months, Boeing has struck a $16.6bn deal with Iran for passenger planes [File: Reuters]

Tensions have been brewing between Tehran and Washington since Trump took office in January.

On Sunday, a senior Iranian politician was reported as saying that Iran would consider a bill branding the US military and the CIA “terrorist” groups if the US Congress passes a bill designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a “terrorist” organisation.

Allaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, was quoted by Iranian state television as saying the move to further sanction the Revolutionary Guard goes against the 2015 nuclear deal Iran reached with the US and other world powers.

The agreement saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions.

In the time since, Chicago-based Boeing has struck a $16.6bn deal with Iran for passenger planes.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations since 1979, when students stormed the US embassy and took 52 Americans hostages for 444 days.

Source: News Agencies