Iran defies United States with increased budget for missile programme

Iran Allocates $520Mln for Missile Program in Response to New US Sanctions - AFP

Iran's parliament voted to boost spending on its elite Revolutionary Guards force and missile program in response to new US sanctions. It also comes as a North Korean-announced deadline to fire missiles into the waters around Guam approaches.

The US legislation would impose mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

Of the members present, 240 parliamentarians out of 244 voted in favour of passing the bill.

"The Americans should know that this was our first action", said speaker Ali Larijani, after announcing an overwhelming majority vote for a package "to confront terrorist and adventurist actions by the United States in the region".

It will also require Iran's government and armed forces to draw up a plan to counter U.S. violations of human rights around the world and to support Iranian bodies and individuals affected by sanctions.

Araghchi, also in defense, said the countermeasure bill is "much stronger" than US Congress bill against Iran, since it also extends support to the Islamic Republic's armed forces and all related ministries.




The bill is "very smart particularly because it doesn't violate the nuclear deal and doesn't allow the other side to make excuses", he added.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, said the new bill was not in violation of the 2015 agreement limiting the country's nuclear programme.

The Iranian legislation must pass a second vote before submission for final approval.

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Mr Trump that he risks political suicide if he scrapped the nuclear deal with Tehran.

A number of recent close encounters between USA ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf have added to the tensions between the two countries.

The bill, which received overwhelming approval, is in response to the latest round of USA sanctions against Tehran.

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