Iran's Parliament Increases Spending On Missile Program

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.

"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.

Iranian lawmakers on Sunday overwhelmingly voted to approve a bill aimed at countering the new United States sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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

Iran's parliament on Sunday approved an increased budget for the country's ballistic missile programme and the regional operations of its Revolutionary Guard, in defiance of USA sanctions imposed last month over Tehran's testing of new missile technology.

The additional USA sanctions put in place last month directly target the missile programme and the IRGC.

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".

The bill cites "hostile" USA policies against Iran, and American "adventurism in the region aimed at creating divisions", Tasnim reported.

The move came after the US House of Representatives and then the Senate passed a sweeping package of bills on sanctions against Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

The agreement saw crippling economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for the country restricting its sensitive nuclear activities.

The bill must now pass a second vote before being submitted to a clerical body for final approval and passage into law.

Vanessa Coleman