The Iranian parliament has overwhelmingly approved declaring the entire U.S. military "terrorist."
The Tuesday vote was an escalation from last week, when Iranian lawmakers voted to declare all U.S. troops in the Middle East terrorists.
The development comes a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. would stop granting exemptions to countries that import Iranian oil, meaning if those countries continue to buy oil from Iran, they will be slapped with U.S. sanctions. China, India, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea all still purchase Iranian oil. A previous exemption waiver for the sanctions expires May 2.
Earlier this month, the U.S. designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization, showing an increased effort to pressure the regime on the international stage. President Trump’s administration also bowed out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, last year and reimposed sanctions.
The U.S. is hoping its financial and political pressure on Iran will bring the country back to the negotiating table in a bid for a better nuclear deal.