Par­lia­ment votes to boost mil­i­tary de­fence by $500m

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

Iran’s par­lia­ment has voted in favour of boost­ing in­vest­ment in its mis­sile de­fence and for­eign op­er­a­tions pro­grammes by more than $500m (£386m).

The bill, which re­ceived over­whelm­ing ap­proval, is in re­sponse to the lat­est round of US sanc­tions against Tehran.

The US im­posed sanc­tions af­ter a bal­lis­tic mis­sile test in Jan­uary. Tehran says this vi­o­lates the 2015 nu­clear deal, which US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has called “the worst ever” and threat­ened to tear up.

The Ira­nian leg­is­la­tion must pass a sec­ond vote be­fore sub­mis­sion for fi­nal ap­proval.

Ira­nian MPs shouted “death to Amer­ica” af­ter Speaker Ali Lar­i­jani an­nounced the re­sult of the vote. Of the mem­bers present, 240 par­lia­men­tar­i­ans out of 244 voted in favour of pass­ing the bill.

It pro­poses that the gov­ern­ment al­lo­cates an ad­di­tional $260m for the “de­vel­op­ment of the mis­sile pro­gramme” and the same amount to Iran’s Quds Force, a branch of the coun­try’s Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards Corps.

Mr Lar­i­jani said the move was meant to counter Wash­ing­ton’s “ter­ror­ist and ad­ven­tur­ist ac­tiv­i­ties” in the Mid­dle East.

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