Iran officials imposed sanctions on 15 U.S. companies for cooperating with Israel and for alleged human rights violations in a retaliatory reaction to a move by Washington, D.C. officials, reports state news agency IRNA on Sunday.
The Iranian move came two days after the United States imposed sanctions on 11 companies or individuals from China, North Korea or the United Arab Emirates for technology transfers that could boost Tehran's ballistic missile program. U.S. lawmakers indicated they would see Iran's Revolutionary Guards listed as a terrorist organization.
IRNA quoted Iran's foreign ministry, stating the U.S. companies had "flagrantly violated human rights" and cooperated with Israel in its "terrorism" against the Palestinians and the expansion of Jewish settlements.
Many of Iran's allegations, concerns and complaints are against companies they claim sold aircraft, advanced military weapons, firearms, armored vehicles, missile systems, equipment or security devices to Israeli military groups -- some of which they claim were used on Palestinian civilians.
According to PressTV, the 15 American companies sanctioned include: Beni Tal security company; United Technologies; Raytheon; ITT Corporation; Re/Max; Oshkosh Corporation; Magnum Research Inc.; Kahr Arms; M7 Aerospace LP; Military Armament Corporation; Lewis Machine and Tool Company; Daniel Defense; Bushmaster Firearms International; O.F. Mossberg & Sons; and H-S Precision, Inc.
"The American army is present in numerous regional crises, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and provides vast support to terrorist groups," said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, president of the committee, according to a state television report.
U.S. news services report it is not immediately clear if any of the companies had any dealings with Iran or whether they would be affected by Tehran's action, which IRNA representatives stated would include seizure of assets and a ban on contacts with them. Fox news reported former and current directors of the 15 U.S. companies named will not be eligible for visas in Iran, as part of the sanction. Yahoo reported Iran's decision is largely symbolic because these firms do not do business with Iran.
Iran Daily News reported the Iranian Foreign Ministry statement indicated the U.S. companies have "directly or indirectly collaborated with the Israeli regime in committing its savage crimes in occupied Palestine, thrown their weight behind the regime's terrorist acts or contributed to the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories in flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334."
Iran would face tighter U.S. sanctions over ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities under a bill announced on Thursday by a bipartisan group of senators, reports Reuters.
Iranian Foreign Ministry representatives stated the list of sanctioned American companies could expand to include more entities.