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

The move follows a spike in tensions between Tehran and Washington since US President Donald Trump took office in January with a vow to get tough on the Islamic republic.

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.

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 Iranian parliament has approved a bill to counter "terrorist and adventurous actions" of the U.S. in the region.

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.

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

"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.

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.

He further said American officials should be aware that the legislation was just the first step against anti-Iran measures.

To counter United States economic sanctions, the government has been ordered to provide a comprehensive plan on expanding economic cooperation with world countries, especially Iran's neighbors and friends as well as the countries which have likewise been subject to Washington's embargoes.

  • Angelo Rivera