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Iran parliament votes to designate U.S. army, Pentagon as terrorist entities

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Iranian officials voted to formally designate the U.S. military and Pentagon as terrorist entities Tuesday.

The decision came in the aftermath of a U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. The killing has prompted warnings of new strikes and retaliation from both countries.

READ MORE: U.S. braces for possible ‘tit-for-tat’ assault from Iran over general’s death

The new bill, according to Al Jazeera, reads: “Any aid to these forces, including military, intelligence, financial, technical, service or logistical, will be considered as cooperation in a terrorist act.”

The bill was given a “triple-urgency” designation in parliament.

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Speaking in Farsi, lawmaker Behrouz Nemati said the urgency of the bill is rare.

“I cannot remember that we have had any other triple urgency bills before,” he said, according to Reuters. “Finally, they (parliament) have identified the Pentagon complex as a terrorist group, and they have in fact identified the commanders, executors and those involved in assassination of the martyr Soleimani, their comrades as terrorists, and they have identified the bodies and companies subsidiary to the Pentagon as terrorist compounds.”

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The move was backed by Iran’s Council of Guardians, which means the bill is ratified.

Lawmakers also voted on Tuesday to allocate a further 200 million euros, roughly C$290 million, to Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.

Following the vote, lawmakers chanted “death to America.”

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The terror designation for the Pentagon comes less than a year after the U.S. labelled the Revolutionary Guard Corps a “terror group” in April 2019. The IRGC’s Quds Force is listed by Public Safety Canada as a terrorist entity.

Meanwhile, Soleimani’s death has sparked a new wave of tensions in the Middle East and around the globe.

The U.S. government warned ships of an unspecified threat from Iran across the region’s waterways, crucial routes for global energy supplies. Meanwhile, the U.S. air force launched a drill with 52 fighter jets in Utah, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to hit 52 cultural sites in Iran.

READ MORE: At least 56 dead, over 200 hurt in stampede at funeral for Soleimani in Iran

Hossein Salami, the new leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death as he addressed a crowd of supporters gathered at the coffin in a central square in Kernan.

“We tell our enemies that we will retaliate but if they take another action we will set ablaze the places that they like and are passionate about,” Salami said.

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— With files from Reuters and The Associated Press