Iran parliament increases missile funds in response to U.S. sanctions

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On July 18, the U.S. Administration announced putting on a blacklist 18 organizations and persons, supporting the Iranian ballistic missile program, Iran's military purchases and IRGC. A total of 240 parliamentarians out of 244 present voted for the bill.

The bill allows for a boost in spending on Tehran's missile program and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' defense mechanism.

This legislation was described as an effort to "counter America's terrorist and adventurist actions in the region" and heralded as a justified response to new sanctions adopted by the United States earlier this summer.

Sanctions against Iran is mainly in response to Tehran's growing missile program. The vote comes amid growing tensions with the United States over the Iranian nuclear deal, which President Trump has said he would like to see cancelled.

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.

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

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told members of parliament the government and the foreign ministry backed the bill, which he said "was designed wisely so that it does not violate the nuclear deal and provide excuses for opposing sides".

The US imposed sanctions after a ballistic missile test in January.

He added that the bill will be supported by the government of President Hassan Rouhani, as it is required to pass a second reading before being submitted to the Guardian Council for final approval.

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

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