Iran has banned “Zionist companies” in an amendment signed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.
The blacklist is made up of supposedly “Jewish-owned” American companies like IBM, Intel and Coca-Cola.
The boycott comes as a reaction to American and UN sanctions against Iran.
The amendment was added to a new law passed in reaction to the Gaza flotilla incident, titled “The Palestinian Support Law,” in which Teheran seeks to support Palestinians while isolating Israel, Army Radio reported. The Iranian Foreign Ministry is responsible for making sure the boycott is carried out.
Ahmadinejad also announced that he planned to propose similar laws in international forums, such as the UN, the Arab League and the Muslim Forum.RELATED
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reportsGlobal trade union rejects call to boycott
Ahmadinejad’s threat did not necessarily knock anyone off their chairs in Jerusalem, with one Foreign Ministry official saying, “This is the Arab boycott, the Persian version. It is not really serious.”
The Iranian threat comes a day after Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, warned that Iran might respond to sanctions passed against it in the US last week with terrorist violence in the Middle East.
In an interview with Foreign Policy
magazine, Oren said Teheran would respond to the sanctions by either returning to the negotiating table or by starting a war to divert attention from the sanctions and its nuclear program. He said that in the latter case, it would use Hamas and Hizbullah to attack Israel and perhaps others.
Oren stated that it was basically a matter of seeing who could hold out longer, and that the international community must persevere in enforcing the sanctions.
Oren also commented on US President Barack Obama’s Israel policy, saying that the more experience the administration got in dealing with the Middle East, the more it would sympathize with Israel’s position.
He said that despite US and international calls for further loosening Israel’s Gaza blockade, opening another land crossing or adding EU monitors would be dangerous.
Israel would “love” to see a greater role for the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip, but opening sea lanes to Gaza would lead to the end of the peace process, he said.
Oren also said that to the best of his knowledge, the US was satisfied with Israel’s internal investigation into the Gaza flotilla incident. However, he added that he didn’t know whether it would support Israel’s position if the UN insisted on carrying out an international probe.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.