Iran bans companies with suspect Israel ties

Iran announced on Tuesday that it would ban international companies in which Israelis may have shares from work in the country. The move was meant as a gesture of support for Hamas - a top Iran ally which is under an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. The official IRNA news agency reported that Industry Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian issued the order in response to Israel's assault on Gaza. The report stated that "companies in which the Zionists have any shares" would be banned until further notice. It did not specify any companies and it was not clear how the ban would be implemented. Iranian hard-liners have accused companies such as Nestle of being partly owned by Israelis and demanded it be kicked out of Iran. Nestle products are widely available in Iran.