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United States sanctions: Iran aims to boost military spending in retaliation

United States sanctions: Iran aims to boost military spending in retaliation

Iran's parliament on Sunday approved an increased budget for the country's ballistic missile programme and the regional operations of its Revolutionary Guard, in defiance of U.S. sanctions imposed last month over Tehran's testing of new missile technology. Head of the Federation Council's worldwide affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev says the decision to increase financing of the missile program, adopted by the Iranian parliament, is a logical response to the US tougher sanctions.

The additional United States sanctions put in place last month directly target the missile programme and the IRGC.

The measure was voted for by 240 out of 244 MPs present.

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".

Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said the government fully supports the new law passed by the parliament against the U.S. terrorist and adventurous measures in the region, describing it as a "wise" and "appropriate" move against Washington's enmities towards Iran.

He further said American officials should be aware that the legislation was just the first step against anti-Iran measures.

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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.

During his campaign he threatened to tear up the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which he has called "the worst deal ever".

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

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