Iran Responds to Sanctions by Penalizing 15 US Companies

Iran's Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that it has sanctioned 15 US companies over what it called their support for "Israeli crimes and terrorism", state TV reported.

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

The government also implemented sanctions on 19 companies or people found to have "transferred to, or acquired from, Iran, North Korea, or Syria goods, services, or technology listed on multilateral export control lists, or on U.S. national control lists, or other items that could make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or missile proliferation", the State Department stated.

The U.S. congress in now in the process of finding other methods to boost pressure, recommending a new law meant to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to the list of terrorist organizations.

IRNA quoted Iran's foreign ministry, stating the USA companies had "flagrantly violated human rights" and cooperated with Israel in its "terrorism" against the Palestinians and the expansion of Jewish settlements. According to the statement released by the ministry, the companies support Israel and the "terrorist actions of the country's government".

It was not immediately clear if any of the companies had any dealings with Iran or whether they would be affected in any way by Tehran's action. Fox news reported former and current directors of the 15 USA companies named will not be eligible for visas in Iran, as part of the sanction.

The measure comes after a missile test led the United States to introduce sanctions against Iran in February, which Iranian authorities said violated the 2015 nuclear deal between the two countries.

As provocative aggression against Iran amps up under U.S. President Donald Trump, Iran has responded by announcing sanctions against 15 U.S. firms, citing ties to apartheid Israel and other rampant human rights abuses in the region.

The sanctioned companies also included ITT Corporation, United Technologies and specialty vehicles maker Oshkosh Corp.

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