US Army and CIA are 'terrorists': Iran Lawmakers

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Tehran, Sep 30: Iranian lawmakers branded the US armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as 'terrorist' in a statement read out in parliament today, Iranian media said.

Signed by 215 members of the 290-seat legislature, the statement was an apparent response to reports that Washington is considering labelling a unit of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organisation.

The legislators criticised the US military and the CIA for what they called terrorist actions, the official IRNA news agency said, citing the World War Two atomic bombing of Japan, the Vietnam war and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as examples.

''Iranian lawmakers in a statement labelled the American army and the country's intelligence services (CIA) as terrorist,'' IRNA said.

Their statement condemned ''the violations by the American army and the creation of insecurity in the region,'' IRNA said.

It also listed the United States' ''unlimited support for the racist and aggressive Zionist regime (Israel) and involvement in the terrorist operations of the government of that regime against the oppressed nations of Palestine and Lebanon''.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week Washington was considering sanctions against the Qods force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards which it accuses of inciting violence in Iraq.

The Qods force is considered the elite unit of the Revolutionary Guards.

The two nations, who have not had diplomatic ties since shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, are embroiled in a deepening rift over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. They also blame each other for the bloodshed in Iraq.

Iran has said any US move to brand the Guards unit a terrorist organisation would be illegal and amount to a confrontation with the entire Islamic Republic.

A month ago, there were plans within the US administration to label the entire Guards Corps a foreign terrorist group -- the first time the United States would place the armed forces of any sovereign government on such a list.

US officials said the thinking was that the Qods unit was easier to target. Washington accuses the force of training and equipping insurgents who have attacked US troops.

Iran denies this, as well as Western allegations its nuclear programme is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

Reuters>

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