Iranian parliament allows govt to respond US “terrorist actions”

Iranian parliament allows govt to respond US “terrorist actions”

Tehran (Agencies): The Iranian parliament has passed a bill, allowing the government to take firm steps to respond to “terrorist actions” by the United States forces, the Iranian state TV reported on Tuesday.

Tehran reacted to the designation, which took effect on April 15, by naming the US Central Command (CENTCOM) a terrorist organisation and the US government a sponsor of terrorism.

On April 8 US President Donald Trump on April 8 designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist group, in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on US forces.

“The bill authorises the government to take firm and retaliatory measures against terrorist activities of American forces that endangers Iran's interests,” the TV reported.

“The government should use legal, political and diplomatic measures in response to the American actions.”

Highly loyal to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the IRGC is a powerful force which controls much of the Iranian economy and wields political influence in the country's faction-ridden clerical establishment.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said some 168 lawmakers out of 210 present at the parliament voted for the bill.

Tensions have been on the rise between Tehran and Washington since last year, when Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.