Iran slaps sanctions on 15 US companies for supporting Israel
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Iran slaps sanctions on 15 US companies for supporting Israel

Firms, including one based in Tel Aviv, accused of selling arms and settlement homes; move seems to be largely symbolic as none appear to do any business with Tehran

An Iranian woman walks past a mural on the wall of the former US embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, November 9, 2016. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
An Iranian woman walks past a mural on the wall of the former US embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, November 9, 2016. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

Iran will impose sanctions on 15 US companies for their support for Israel and its “terrorist actions,” state news agency IRNA said Sunday.

The decision, which is largely symbolic because the firms do not do business with Iran, comes two days after the US announced new sanctions on a number of foreign firms accused of collaborating with Iran’s weapons program.

“A total of 15 US companies have been sanctioned by Iran over their support for Israeli crimes and terrorism,” a statement from Tehran’s Foreign Ministry read, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Iran’s sanctions target US firms that provide arms and equipment to Israel “for use against the Palestinians,” IRNA said.

“All transactions with these firms are forbidden, their assets will be seized and their officials will not be able to obtain a visa,” it added.

Among the firms listed were Beni Tal, an Israeli defense contractor based in Tel Aviv founded by a former bodyguard for prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. The company does not have any US offices listed.

Another company M7 Aerospace, is owned by Israel’s Elbit Systems.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech to parliament in the capital, Tehran, on January 17, 2016, after sanctions were lifted, under Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech to parliament in the capital, Tehran, on January 17, 2016, after sanctions were lifted, under Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

Other firms include United Technologies, ITT Corporation, Magnum Research INC, Military Armament Corporation and Bushmaster Firearms International.

The list also included Re/Max Real Estate, which Tehran accused of “buying and selling homes in settlements located in the occupied territories.”

Tensions have mounted between Tehran and Washington since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

On Friday, Washington announced sanctions against foreign firms and individuals over allegedly collaborating with the weapons programs of Iran and North Korea.

Trump has repeatedly criticized a July 2015 deal between Iran and world powers that saw the Islamic Republic curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Washington last month imposed new sanctions on individuals and companies supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program and on its elite Revolutionary Guards.

US lawmakers are now seeking to further increase pressure, proposing a new law that would see Iran’s Revolutionary Guards listed as a terrorist organization.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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