Iran lawmakers vote to boost spending on missile program


By a huge majority, members of Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to increase spending on the nation’s ballistic missile program and finance its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The moves were viewed as a response to recently announced U.S. sanctions against the Muslim country.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported that 247 lawmakers attended the vote session, with 240 approving the spending plan and one lawmaker abstaining.

No specifics were available about how the new funds would be used.

Earlier this month, Iran reiterated a previous assertion that new U.S. sanctions against it would constitute a “breach” of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and a group of Western powers.

Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator, said the country had prepared a list of 16 measures to take against the U.S. in response to the sanctions, but would not elaborate.

The U.S. sanctions impose penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, enforce an arms embargo and apply terrorism sanctions to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.

In remarks aimed at President Donald Trump, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani issued a warning for anyone looking to discard the 2015 nuclear deal.

Those who intend to tear down the deal should know that they are tearing down their political life,” Rouhani said during a swearing-in ceremony to launch his second term.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the 2015 negotiated by the Obama administration, calling it “bad” and vowing to come up with a better plan for discouraging Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2017-08-13 03:47:00
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