Iran defies U.S. with increased budget for missile programme

Iran defies U.S. with increased budget for missile programme

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 United States sanctions.

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 measure came in retaliation to legislation passed by US Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in early August to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile programme.

After the result was announced, lawmakers shouted: "Death to America".

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

A total of 240 lawmakers voted for the bill, out of the 244 parliamentarians present.

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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.

Devising the Sunday motion, the Parliament took great care not to violate the nuclear accord and provide excuses for opposing sides, spokesman for Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said.

The measure would allocate about $260 million each to Iran's ballistic-missile program and the Quds Force, the external branch of the IRGC that is said to be active in Syria and Iraq.

Under the law, the foreign ministry is tasked to create and publish a blacklist of people to be put under sanctions - in cooperation with the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations wing, Central Bank, and ministry of intelligence.

The bill also urges the above-said ministries and military bodies to annually report to the Majlis on the implementation of their plans.

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