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Iran progresses anti-Israel bill, plans to establish embassy in Jerusalem (www.jpost.com)

The Iranian parliament approved a bill on Tuesday including a list of measures against the State of Israel, such as the establishment of an Iranian consulate or embassy in Jerusalem to ‘Palestine,’ boycott measures and bans on contact and agreements between Iran and Israel.

The bill, featuring 14 articles, passed with 43 votes in favor and no votes against, according to the Iranian IRNA news agency. MPs chanted “down with Israel” after the bill was approved, according to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar news.The bill will be brought before the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee so that the parliament can vote on the law at the beginning of next week.

“During seven decades of its formation, the Zionist regime has created numerous difficulties for the Muslims in the region,” said chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mojtaba Zonnour, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency. 

“Spying, terrorism, and martyrdom of Iranian nuclear scientists, cyber and electronic warfare, and cyber-attacks on nuclear and economic centers are among the Zionist regime’s actions against the Iranian nation.”

Zonnour encouraged Iranian lawmakers to approve the anti-Zionist motion as a substitute for Quds Day rallies that have been cancelled.

The bill bans the use of Israeli flags, symbols or signs for “propaganda purposes in favor of the regime”; direct and indirect financial assistance from Iranian nationals to the State of Israel is prohibited, according to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency.

The bill emphasized that the “historical and integrated land of Palestine belongs to the original Palestinian peoples, including Muslims, Christians and Jews,” adding that the Iranian government is obliged to treat Jerusalem as the “permanent capital of Palestine.”

Within six months of the adoption of the law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must make arrangements for the establishment of a “consulate or virtual embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Capital of Jerusalem in Palestine.”

The proposed law obligates the Iranian government to boycott all economic, commercial, financial and governmental institutions of the State of Israel whose shares belong to Israeli citizens or companies registered in Israel.

Any activity of commercial companies that operate in the security, military and infrastructure sectors is banned within Iran according to the new law as well, according to Tasnim. Cooperation between Iranian universities, medical and scientific centers, public and private centers and government employees and their Israeli counterparts is banned as well, as is participation in conferences affiliated with the Jewish state.

Affected by the ban include any companies or entities directly created by the State of Israel, entities that “work for the goals of the Zionist regime and international Zionism all over the world” and companies in which over half their shares belong to Israeli citizens.

All hardware and software developed in Israel or by companies that have production branches in Israel are banned from use in Iran.

All negotiations, political agreements or exchanges of information with official and unofficial Israeli entities is also banned by the new law.

The penalties for breaking the law range from fines to imprisonment to dismissal from public service.

All Israeli citizens are prohibited from entering Iran. Iranian nationals are prohibited from traveling to the “occupied Palestinian territories.” It is unclear what areas are referred to under the law. Non-incidental contact and communication between Iranian nationals and Israeli nationals is also prohibited. The perpetrator would have the burden of proof concerning proving that the communication is accidental.

The law makes it formally illegal for Iranians to hold any competitions or sports competitions, whether official or preparatory, with Israelis. Iranian sports federations will be obliged to impose any penalties that may be imposed on Iranian athletes due to this law.

The Iranian Ministry of Justice is obligated to use foreign, international and domestic channels to prosecute Israeli leaders for “crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, aggression and terrorist acts inside and outside the occupied territories.”

The law obligates the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work in both the political and diplomatic fields to implement a political plan designed by the Islamic Republic to hold a referendum among residents of “Palestine” concerning the future of the area and to teach about “Zionist apartheid” in international organizations.

The announcement of the new law comes amid heightened tensions surrounding the State of Israel as plans for annexation are pushed forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

An alleged Iranian cyberattack on Israeli water and sewage facilities last month was the subject of the first security cabinet meeting since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday.

“This was an attack that goes against all codes, even in war,” said an Israeli official to Channel 13. “Even from the Iranians we didn’t expect something like this. This is an attack that cannot be done.”

In the past few weeks, a series of airstrikes attributed to Israel have targeted a number of targets throughout Syria connected to Iran, Iran-backed militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist movement.

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