Iran to 'counter' USA sanctions with more funding for missiles, Quds Force

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Parliamentarians approved the outlines of the bill to "counter America's terrorist and adventurist actions in the region" as some chanted "Death to America" after the vote results were announced.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said Iran's missile program is for deterrent purposes.

Iran's parliament voted on August 13 to allocate $520 million to develop its missile programme to fight Washington's "adventurism" and sanctions, and to boost the foreign operations of the country's Revolutionary Guards.

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

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.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said the bill passed on Sunday had the support of the government.

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The US legislation would impose mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

The bill is "very smart particularly because it doesn't violate the nuclear deal and doesn't allow the other side to make excuses", he added.

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 global stage".

The legislators stressed that the bill does not violate the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers, but accused Washington of attempts to "kill" the landmark agreement.

The bill still needs to pass a second vote before it is delivered to a clerical body for review and passage into law.

Mr Trump has recently backed away from his key campaign promise to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.

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