Published: Mon, August 14, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

BBCI: Iran votes to boost military defence by $500m

BBCI: Iran votes to boost military defence by $500m

In a defiant response to new U.S. sanctions against Tehran, Iran's parliament approved a bill to strengthen its missile program.

"The Americans should know that this was our first action", said speaker Ali Larijani after announcing the overwhelming majority vote for the package on Sunday. During Sunday's voting session, 240 out of 244 legislators approved the missile spending bill. After the result was announced, lawmakers shouted: "Death to America".

An additional 20 trillion rials ($609 million) will be evenly divided between the missile program, to improve the nation's "deterrent capability", and Guards' Qods force, which is active throughout the region, according to the bill published by the Tasnim news agency.

He was referring to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, known officially as the JCPOA, under which Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions. 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.

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 has very wisely tried not to violate the JCPOA (nuclear deal) and also give no chance to the other party to manipulate it", Araqchi said.

The motion was designed in view of continued bellicose policies of the United States towards Iran, and its persisting measures aimed at endangering peace and security in the region, it said.

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 cites "hostile" USA policies against Iran, and American "adventurism in the region aimed at creating divisions", Tasnim reported.

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