Iran’s parliament on Tuesday approved a bill designating the US military as terrorists, days after US airstrikes killed Iran’s top military leader General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. The bill is similar to the action the United States took last year when the Trump administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.
MPs passed bill declaring the U.S. military and Pentagon terrorist entities, according to Iranian state media. Under the bill, the Iranian government will also provide $ 220 million to the IRGC to “strengthen its defense power in revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani,” the news agency reported, as tensions between the United States and Iran are increasing.
A senior US official told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered a direct attack on US interests in retaliation for the airstrike that killed Soleimani , his highest military commander and friend. The official said the US military was “extremely concerned” that retaliation could come quickly.
Asked Tuesday by CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer when the Iranian response would come, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif only said his country would retaliate when it chooses. As a senior Iranian commander threatened at Soleimani’s funeral to “burn down” American supporters in the region, Zarif told CBS News the response would be “proportionate” and “against legitimate targets.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continuedof the targeted missile strike that killed Soleimani. He insisted that President Trump was correct in ordering the murder and rejected Iran’s claim that Soleimani was in Iraq for diplomatic purposes.
In April, the The United States said the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, making it illegal for anyone to provide material support to the group. The US Department of Defense used the Guard designation to support last week’s strike that killed Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic .