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Iranian Parliament Passes Bill Recognizing U.S. Central Command As Terrorist Group


Iranian Parliament Passes Bill Recognizing U.S. Central Command As Terrorist Group

A convoy of US forces armored vehicles drives near the village of Yalanli, on the western outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, on March 5, 2017. Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

The Iranian Parliament passed a bill on April 16 designating the U.S. Army Central Command (CENTCOM) operating in the Middle East as a terrorist group. The bill, which was approved by the vast majority of MPs, is a direct response to the recent decision by the U.S. to blacklist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iranian Fars News said that the new bill condemns the U.S. move against the IRGC and considers any any military, intelligence, financial, technical, training, service and logistical assistance to the CENTCOM as a “terrorist act.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s government and Armed Forces are required to adopt preventive actions and preemptive defensive measures whenever necessary, to deter any hostile US forces’ use of any possibilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interests,” the bill reads, according to the Iranian news agency.

On April 15, the U.S. officially designated the IRGC as a terrorist group in an unprecedented move. Many officials in Washington had warned that the decision could endanger U.S. troops deployed in the Middle East. A warning that was apparently ignored by President Donald Trump.

The new Iranian bill proves that this warning was realistic, as it calls on the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the foreign and defense ministries to use their political, legal and diplomatic capacities to shut down the U.S. bases in the region.

Iran had repeatedly warned that it would respond to any U.S. step against the IRGC with appropriate measures. The new bill is likely the first step only. The upcoming months could witness additional measures by Tehran.

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