Iran Parliament approves anti-US bill

Iran’s parliament on Sunday approved more than half a billion dollars in funding for the country’s missile programme and foreign operations of the elite Revolutionary Guards in response to USA sanctions.

Head of the Federation Council’s global 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 USA tougher sanctions.

After Larijani announced the vote results, lawmakers shouted: “Death to America”.

Iranian lawmakers unanimously passed the general outlines of the bill in a 240-0 vote with one abstention.

Sanctions against Iran is mainly in response to Tehran’s growing missile programme.

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

Abbas Araghchi, a deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator on hand for the vote, said a moderate President Hassan Rouhani’s government would support the bill.

Devising the Sunday motion, the Parliament took great care not to violate the nuclear accord and provide excuses for opposing sides, spokesman for Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said.

“Iran boasts potential and actual options to confront hostile United States actions”.

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.

Araghchi, also in defense, said the countermeasure bill is “much stronger” than US Congress bill against Iran, since it also extends support to the Islamic Republic’s armed forces and all related ministries.

The bill tasks Foreign, Intelligence, and Defense Ministries, Iran’s Army, and its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and its Quds Force to produce a comprehensive strategy aimed at countering USA threats.

Therefore, the following entities won’t be granted a visa to enter Iran, and they are not going to be allowed to do any transactions at the Iranian banks.

It excludes whistleblowers who reveal America’s “illegal activities, crimes, torture and election fraud”, namely in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere.

It orders the foreign ministry and the judiciary to take measures to protect Iranians in USA prisons for violation of sanctions or facing persecution and extradition elsewhere.