Iranian lawmakers approve measure labeling US forces in Middle East terrorists

Iranian lawmakers approve measure labeling US forces in Middle East terrorists
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Iranian lawmakers approved a measure Tuesday designating U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorists, The Associated Press reported.

The bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Iranian parliament, comes a day after the U.S.'s terrorism designation for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officially took effect, the news service noted.

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Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill, which accuses U.S. forces of “terrorist actions” and demands authorities use “legal, political and diplomatic” measures to neutralize them, according to the AP.

Some hard-liner lawmakers reportedly demanded listing the entire U.S. Army and security forces as terrorists during debates over the measure.

State TV reported that 204 of 207 lawmakers present at the session voted to approve the bill, according to the AP.

The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it would label the IRGC as a “foreign terrorist organization,” marking the first time the United States applied the label to an entire government entity.

“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences,” President Trump said in a statement at the time. “We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior.”

Iranian lawmakers warned prior to the official U.S. designation that they would retaliate if it was implemented.

“We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action. So the leaders of America, who themselves are the creators and supporters of terrorists in the (Middle East) region, will regret this inappropriate and idiotic action," 255 lawmakers said in a statement.