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Iranian Parliament Increases Funding For Missiles, IRGC In Reaction To U.S. Sanctions

August 13, 2017

Iran's parliament has given initial approval to a bill to increase spending on the country's missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in response to recent sanctions imposed by the United States.

Lawmakers on August 13 overwhelmingly approved the outlines of the bill to "counter America's terrorist and adventurist actions" as some chanted "Death to America," state-controlled television reported.

"The Americans should know that this was our first action," parliament speaker Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by state media.

The measure comes in retaliation to new U.S. sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program and missile tests.

Iran maintains that the missiles that it tests don't violate its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers because they are for defensive purposes.

The measure would allocate about $260 million each to Iran's ballistic-missile program and the Quds Force, the external branch of the IRGC that is said to be active in Syria and Iraq.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted by the government news agency IRNA as telling members of parliament that the bill "was designed wisely so that it does not violate the [nuclear deal] and provide excuses for opposing sides."

Araqchi said the government of President Hassan Rohani will support the bill.

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

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and IRNA

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-parliament- increases-funding-missiles-revolutionary-guard- reaction-us-sanctions/28673921.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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