Iran parliament increases missile funds in response to USA sanctions

Marie Harrington
Августа 14, 2017

The bill will allocate $260m (£200m) to Iran's ballistic missile programme and the same amount to Quds Force, the special forces unit of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.

Tehran says this violates the 2015 nuclear deal, which US President Donald Trump has called "the worst ever" and threatened to tear up. There were no details of how much spending would be increased.

In a session this morning, 240 Iranian lawmakers voted for the bill to confront "America's terrorist and adventurous actions" in the region.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is the head of an Iranian commission tasked with monitoring the agreement's implementation, told MPs that the government backed the bill which he described "very strong".

The US imposed sanctions after a ballistic missile test in January.

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The plan would require Iran's government and armed forces to draw up a strategy to counter U.S. violations of human rights around the world, and to support Iranian bodies and individuals affected by USA sanctions.

He added that the bill will be supported by the government of President Hassan Rouhani, as it is required to pass a second reading before being submitted to the Guardian Council for final approval.

The nuclear deal, between Iran and six world powers including China, Russia and the United Kingdom, is largely seen as the best way to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

As well, the bill allocates a budget of about $5 billion to what is termed as "reinforcing the country's defensive power, improving deterrent its power, countering terrorism, increasing Iran's diplomatic leverage and intelligence capabilities, safeguarding the regional stability, supporting the IRGC, development of nuclear propellers and boosting Iran's defensive capabilities against possible nuclear attacks".

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