Iran's Parliament Increases Spending On Missile Program

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

Iran Majlis passes motion in response to US sanctions

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

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

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was sworn in for a second term earlier this month, called the nuclear deal "a sign of Iran's goodwill on the global stage".

As some lawmakers chanted "Death to America", Iran's parliament on August 13 granted its initial approval for increased funding of Teheran's missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

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".

On July 18, the U.S. Administration announced putting on a blacklist 18 organizations and persons, supporting the Iranian ballistic missile program, Iran's military purchases and IRGC.

Washington's new sanctions violate a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran both "in letter and spirit".

Sanctions against Iran is mainly in response to Tehran's growing missile programme.

He went on to say that according to the law, the Iranian administration is obliged to monitor the United States government's anti-Iran measures and counteract them accordingly. "Iran recognises the entire American military and intelligence forces as terrorist groups" for their "implicit and explicit support for terrorist groups" in the region, their role in creating the Islamic State group, and "the support for violators of fundamental humans rights especially the dictator and violent regimes", the bill's text 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.

Latest News