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Iran Strikes Back at U.S. With 'Reciprocal' Sanctions on 15 Companies

Iran sanctioned what it described as 15 American companies, alleging they support terrorism, repression and Israel's occupation of land Palestinians want for a future state.
Image: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a photo released last week. AP

Iran on Sunday sanctioned what it described as 15 U.S. companies, alleging that they support terrorism, repression and Israel's occupation of land that Palestinians want for a future state, likely in retaliation for sanctions earlier announced by the United States.

The wide-ranging list, from a U.S. real estate company to a major arms manufacturer, appeared more symbolic than anything else as the firms weren't immediately known to be doing business anywhere in the Islamic Republic.

A Foreign Ministry statement carried by the state-run news agency IRNA said that the sanctions barred companies from any agreements with Iranian firms and that former and current directors would not be eligible for visas. It also said any of the companies' 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.

Related: U.S. Hits Iran With New Sanctions for Ballistic Missile Test, Terrorism Sponsorship

The IRNA report referred to the sanctions as a "reciprocal act," without elaborating. They come after the Trump administration in February sanctioned more than two dozen people and companies in retaliation for a recent ballistic missile test.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday. They included ITT Corp., missile maker Raytheon Co. and United Technologies Corp. Denver's Re/Max Holdings Inc., a real estate company, also made the list.

Another firm on the list, truck maker Oshkosh, has worked closely with Israeli armored products maker Plasan, including on the Sand Cat armored vehicle that is used by several countries, including Israel. The Israeli Defense Ministry is reportedly seeking to buy 200 tactical trucks from the Wisconsin-based company.

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

Image: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a photo released last week. AP

Meanwhile, a senior Iranian lawmaker said Iran would consider a bill branding the U.S. military and the CIA as terrorist groups if Congress passes a bill designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

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 United States and other world powers.

Under the deal Iran agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions. Since then, Boeing Co. has struck a $16.6 billion deal with Iran for passenger planes.