Iranian lawmakers today near-unanimously passed what one Iranian official called a "really clever" bill that slaps sanctions on U.S. entities, expands Iran's missile program and provides a boost in funding for Iran's elite military Quds Force.
"This bill is an astute response to the enmity and wickedness of the United States against Iran," said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, according to Iran's state-run outlet IRNA.
In addition to ordering billions be allocated to the Iranian missile program and its Quds Force, not to mention money for "increasing Iran's diplomatic leverage and intelligence capabilities," the bill reportedly calls on several Iranian ministries to develop "a comprehensive strategic plan to counter the U.S. threats" within six months.
The bill accuses the U.S. of supporting "terrorism" in the region, from ISIS to the "Zionists," but is careful, Araqchi said, not to violate the Iran nuclear deal. In recent weeks, President Donald J. Trump reportedly has been seeking ways to find Iran in violation of that deal.
The Iranian bill came in response to legislation targeting Iran, North Korea and Russia passed overwhelmingly by U.S. lawmakers and signed into law by Trump on Aug. 2.
The American bill specifically targeted Iran's ballistic missile program and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the larger force under which the Quds Force operates.
Primary Source: IRNA Report
Primary Source: U.S. Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act