Iran Adds Funding to Missiles, Guards After New US Sanctions

Iran's lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a motion in response to recent USA sanctions, voting to boost spending on Tehran's missile program and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

In a session on Sunday, a total of 240 politicians out of 244 present voted to allocate $520m to develop the country's missile programme and boost foreign operations of the paramilitary troops, with only one abstention.

"The Americans should know that this was our first action", speaker Ali Larijani said after announcing the voting results - according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said the bill passed on Sunday had the support of the government.

The measure would also allocate over $260 million each to Iran's ballistic missile program and the Quds Force - the external arm of the IRGC, which has sent military advisers to Iraq and Syria to fight terrorists.

Tehran says the measures violate a 2015 deal with world powers that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

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"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.

But last month he backed away from his pledge to withdraw from the agreement.

The United States has had no diplomatic ties with the Iran since 1980, and Trump has halted the direct contacts initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

The bill includes Iran's countermeasure plans for any U.S. acts of exploitation and terrorism in the region, as well as the Western country's hostile moves that undermine the successful implementation of Iran's nuclear deal, dubbed JCPOC, which went into effect in January 2016.

The bill also imposes sanctions against several United States entities which, Iran says, are involved in supporting terrorism in the Middle East.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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