Defiant Iran boosts its missile funding


Defiant Iran boosts its missile funding

Tehran - $520m pledge by lawmakers seen as a reply to US sanctions


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Published: Sun 13 Aug 2017, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Aug 2017, 9:54 AM

Iran's parliament on Sunday approved more than half-a-billion dollars in funding for the country's missile programme and foreign operations of the elite Revolutionary Guards in response to US sanctions.
The move follows a spike in tensions between Tehran and Washington since US President Donald Trump took office in January with a vow to get tough on the Islamic republic. "The Americans should know that this was our first action," said parliament speaker Ali Larijani, after announcing overwhelming support for a package "to confront terrorist and adventurist actions by the United States in the region".
After the vote result was announced, lawmakers shouted: "Death to America."
A total of 240 parliamentarians out of 244 present voted for the bill. It mandates the government to allocate an additional $260 million for missile development and the same amount to the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, state news agency Irna said.
The Quds Force leads Iran's military role in Syria and Iraq.
The vote came after the United States imposed fresh sanctions against Iran in July, targeting its missile programme.
Tehran says the measures violate a 2015 deal with world powers that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Trump repeatedly threatened to tear up what he once called "the worst deal ever", but last month he backed away from a key campaign promise to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said the bill passed on Sunday had the support of the government. 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 boasts potential and actual options to confront hostile US actions".

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