Iran Parliament Passes Motion to Counter US Measures

Iran Allocates $520Mln for Missile Program in Response to New US Sanctions - AFP

In a defiant response to new USA sanctions against Tehran, Iran's parliament approved a bill to strengthen its missile program.

The Iranian parliament voted Sunday for allocating $520 million on the development of its own missile program in response to U.S. sanctions, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the parliament's vote to approve the motion was just the first step, adding that if Washington proceeds with its anti-Tehran policies, the law will take effect.

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 was announced. The vote comes amid growing tensions with the U.S. over the Iranian nuclear deal, which President Trump has said he would like to see cancelled.

In response to the launch, President Trump signed a bill outlining new sanctions against several Iranian groups, freezing funds and outlawing US citizens from doing businesses with the targets.

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

"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.

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.

But last month he backed away from his pledge to withdraw from the agreement.

The bill, which received overwhelming approval, is in response to the latest round of United States sanctions against Tehran. "Iran recognises the entire American military and intelligence forces as terrorist groups" for their "implicit and explicit support for terrorist groups" in the region, their role in creating the Islamic State group, and "the support for violators of fundamental humans rights especially the dictator and violent regimes", the bill's text said.

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