Iranian lawmakers approved a bill enabling the government to enhance the country’s military might, including the production of more missiles.
Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported that the bill was approved during a parliamentary session on Monday. The legislation was passed with 173 votes in favor, 10 votes against and 6 abstentions.
The bill, which is part of the country’s Sixth Economic Development Plan, states that the Iranian administration can take “fundamental measures” to promote the country’s “defense power.”
“Developing and increasing the power to produce missiles,” “developing and strengthening the air defense power within short, medium and long ranges,” and “developing and strengthening electronic warfare and cyber defense capabilities” are among the administration’s obligations, according to the legislation.
Iran’s military industry in recent years has made much progress in manufacturing a broad range of military hardware, making its army somewhat self-sufficient in the arms sphere.
Despite the implementation of the nuclear deal signed over a year ago, Iran has proceeded with its military build-up and has conducted several weapons tests in blatant violation of UN sanctions.
Tehran claims that its military might poses no threat to the regional countries, saying that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.
Where Do the Funds Come From?
Where is the expanded funding coming from? According to Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, senior analyst (emeritus) at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the $1.7 billion cash payment that the Obama administration paid to Iran in September 2016 is being used by the Islamic Republic to significantly expand its military might.
In December, President Hassan Rouhani’s government submitted to the Iranian parliament a draft budget for the fiscal year March 2017-March 2018 for the total sum of $99.7 billion.
The budget envisages a growth in expenditure of 13.9 percent over the upcoming year, but the funds allocated for defense have sharply increased by 39 percent, or $10.3 billion, including a big increase for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which oversees its foreign sabotage and terror operation.
Overall, Iran’s defense budget has increased from $6 billion in 2013 during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to $8 billion in 2014, and in excess of $10 billion for the next Iranian fiscal year.
“While we cannot establish whether the money transferred from the US went directly into the expanded defense budget, it, at a minimum, enabled the government to release an equal amount of money for defense purposes,” Raphaeli said. “It is noteworthy that the increase in the proposed defense budget for 2017 is approximately equal to the amount transferred by the US. Whatever the source of the defense budget increase, the IRGC will have ample resources to expand its nefarious activities far beyond the borders of the Islamic Republic.”
Reported by: World Israel News Staff