By Kalendra Withana
In response to US sanctions, Iran vows to strongly tighten up its defence regime, with the country’s parliament having recently approved a bill to extensively fund Tehran’s missile programme and external operations.
The bill itself will assign a total of $260m to the country’s ballistic missile programme and the same amount will be attributed to the Special Forces unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.
According to the regulations of the bill furthermore, financial sanctions and travel bans will be imposed on US military and security establishments who have intelligent links to terrorist groups in the region.
In hosting such a bill, Iran's government and military forces will have to generate a plan to retaliate against the sanctions imposed by the US and therefore protect the goodwill of its citizens.
Ever since President Donald Trump commenced his leadership, escalating tensions have been looming between the Iranian capital of Tehran and the US capital of Washington.
Namely, it has recently been reported that close encounters have occurred between US ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf.
In justifying the bill, Iran claims that designing such a missile programme will not go against UN regulations. The country has also said that it has already requested for the Islamic Republic not to affiliate with activities in relation to nuclear weapons.
Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi, said that the bill “was designed wisely so that it does not violate the [nuclear deal] and provide excuses for opposing sides”.
Adnan Tabatabai, Iran analyst and CEO of the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient, said that the country at this moment in time wants “to show that the pressure that the U.S. is exerting on Iran, they can respond with similar measures”.
"It's not that important that those measures may not hurt the U.S. in the same way. They want to show they are not just standing still and watching this happening."
In the Parliamentary hearing which took place on Sunday, 240 out of 247 Iranian lawmakers voted in favour of the bill. It has been reported that the MPs were chanting “death to America” with regards to the imposed US actions.Parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, described the bill as a “first action… to confront terrorist and adventurist actions by the United States in the region".
Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, furthermore coined the deal as "a sign of Iran's goodwill on the international stage".
Sources – Sky News, Irish Times, The Economic Times, Aljazeera