Iran defies U.S. with increased budget for missile programme

Iran MPs boost missile funds in response to US sanctions

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 worldwide stage".

The measure came after President Donald Trump signed into law a bill passed by US Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile program in early August.

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 USA sanctions imposed last month over Tehran's testing of new missile technology.

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

The Iranian plan would require Iran's government and armed forces to draw up a strategy to counter United States violations of human rights around the world, and to support Iranian bodies and individuals affected by American sanctions.

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 as "very strong".

Citing recent U.S. sanctions and "adventurism", Tehran plans to bolster its ballistic missile system as tensions rise.

Iran denies violating the United Nations resolution which endorsed the Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, preventing them from conducting activities related to ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have grown since President Trump took office.

The legislators stressed that the bill does not violate the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers, but accused Washington of attempts to "kill" the landmark agreement. A string of close encounters between U.S. ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf in recent months has added to the tensions between the two countries.

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