U.S. sanctions: Iran aims to boost military spending in retaliation

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

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 worldwide stage". After the result was announced, lawmakers shouted: "Death to America". The parliament's majority voted for the bill, which was a response to the US new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the parliament's vote to approve the motion was just the first step, adding that if Washington proceeds with its anti-Tehran policies, the law will take effect. The Quds Force leads Iran's military role in Syria and Iraq.

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.

Abbas Araghchi, a deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator on hand for the vote, said a moderate President Hassan Rouhani's government would support the bill.

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Iran denies its missile programme violates a United Nations resolution that endorsed Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and calls upon the Islamic Republic not to conduct activities related to ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons.

A number of recent close encounters between United States ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf have added to the tensions between the two countries.

According to the bill, Iran's combined government and military apparatus is tasked with devising a comprehensive strategic plan to counter the "US threats" within a period of six months following ratification of the bill.

In response the country's parliament has now given initial approval to a bill to increase spending on their missile programme.