Iran Majlis passes motion in response to USA sanctions

US president Donald Trump has been increasing pressure on Iran over compliance with the UN-endorsed deal to lift nuclear sanctions on Tehran. Nicholas Kamm  AFP

US president Donald Trump has been increasing pressure on Iran over compliance with the UN-endorsed deal to lift nuclear sanctions on Tehran. Nicholas Kamm AFP

As some lawmakers chanted "Death to America", Iran's parliament on August 13 granted its initial approval for increased funding of Teheran's missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Iran's parliament has overwhelmingly voted to increase spending on its ballistic missile program and its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in response to recent new American sanctions.

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.

Iranian lawmakers unanimously passed the general outlines of the bill in a 240-0 vote with one abstention. The Quds Force leads Iran's military role in Syria and Iraq.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is the head of an Iranian commission tasked with monitoring the agreement's implementation, told MPs that the government backed the bill which he described "very strong".

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Washington's new sanctions violate a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran both "in letter and spirit".

"Iran boasts potential and actual options to confront hostile USA actions", said Araqchi.

The United States has had no diplomatic ties with the Iran since 1980, and Trump has halted the direct contacts initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama. The bill cites "hostile" US policies against Iran, and American "adventurism in the region aimed at creating divisions", Tasnim reported.

Iran denies developing ballistic missiles created to carry nuclear weapons in violation of the agreement and has accused the U.S. of breaking its word by imposing fresh sanctions. A string of close encounters between United States ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf in recent months has added to the tensions between the two countries.