Iran's parliament votes to increase spending on missile program

Iran's parliament votes to increase spending on missile program

Iran's parliament votes to increase spending on missile program

In a session Sunday, 240 lawmakers voted for the bill, with only one abstention, to confront "America's terrorist and adventurous actions" in the region.

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

It proposes that the government allocates an additional $260m for the "development of the missile programme" and the same amount to Iran's Quds Force, a branch of the country's Revolutionary Guards Corps, the official state news agency Irna said. The vote comes amid growing tensions with the USA over the Iranian nuclear deal, which President Trump has said he would like to see cancelled.

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 includes Iran's countermeasure plans for any United States 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.

He praised the bill, saying it "was designed wisely so that it does not violate the (nuclear deal) and provide excuses for opposing sides".

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

Iran's parliament has voted to funnel more funds to the nation's ballistic missile program.

Washington and European countries that negotiated the Iran nuclear deal have called the missile tests violations of the spirit of the 2015 accord, but not its letter. A string of close encounters between USA ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf in recent months has added to the tensions between the two countries.

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