Iran to spend $260m on boosting missile programme in response to sanctions

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Iran's parliament approved the first step of a bill to boost Tehran's missile program spending, on Sunday. A session in which members of parliament chanted "Death to America".

In a defiant response to new USA sanctions against Tehran, Iran's parliament approved a bill to strengthen its missile program.

Iranian officials have said the country's missile programme was for deterrent purposes.

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".

"Iran will never pay the price of violating the JCPOA", spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Hossein Naghavian said, adding that Washington "is after imposing the cost of killing the nuclear deal".

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

The move came after the US House of Representatives and then the Senate passed a sweeping package of bills on sanctions against Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Mr Trump that he risks political suicide if he scrapped the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The US imposed sanctions after a ballistic missile test in January.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said the government fully supports the new law passed by the parliament against the United States terrorist and adventurous measures in the region, describing it as a "wise" and "appropriate" move against Washington's enmities towards Iran.