The Iranian government is making major military moves while the rest of the world is focused on North Korea’s aggression.
The Iranian parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill punishing America for sanctions imposed on the Islamic nation last month. The parliament erupted into chants of “death to America” as members voted to increase military spending, advance their ballistic missile program, and impose sanctions on American military officials, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Trump administration launched a new round of sanctions against Iran last month in response to Iran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles and their support for international terrorist organizations, according to USA Today.
The sanctions targeted 13 Iranian officials and 12 companies that have direct ties to Iran’s missile program. The individuals targeted will have all of their American assets frozen. The sanctions also block armaments from entering the Islamic nation.
Iran contends that any sanction against the country violates the terms of the 2015 Iran deal negotiated by former President Obama. They also maintain that the development of the ballistic missile program does not violate the agreement.
Researchers explain that the recent Iranian sanctions were designed to mirror the latest round of American sanctions. “They want to show that the pressure that the US is exerting on Iran, they can respond with similar measures,” explained Adnan Tabatabai, the CEO of the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient. “It’s not that important that those measures may not hurt the US in the same way…They want to show they are not just standing still and watching this happening.”
The bill passed by the Iranian parliament allocates almost $800 million towards various programs with intelligence agencies, the ministry of defense, and the controversial Revolutionary Guard receiving the bulk of the funding.
The Revolutionary Guard is a military force unlike any other. While conventional forces are deployed to protect a nation’s border and maintain the peace, the Revolutionary Guard is mandated to defend the Islamic character of Iran and is only answerable to the Supreme Ayatollah.
A portion of the funds will be used to advance Iran’s nuclear defense program while increasing their stockpile of ballistic missiles. Leaders are also calling for the development of a nuclear propeller for deployment on nuclear submarines.
Revolutionary Guard Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami boasted of the scale of Iran’s missile program, claiming that “the rate of our missile production is so high that we are faced with the problem of space.” He said this while appearing on state-sponsored television.
Iran has saber-rattled against the United States since the 1979 Islamic coup that brought the Persian nation to heel. Do the Iranian mullahs now have the capability to execute their threats against the United States?
The recent action by the Iranian parliament highlights President Trump’s concerns over the Obama-era nuclear deal with the rogue nation. Obama’s Iranian deal offered to end sanctions against Iran if the country agreed to halt their nuclear weapons program. However, enforcement remains almost impossible.
Iran considers any sanctions placed against the country a violation of the agreement, blocking the most effective means of enforcement. Additionally, it is unclear what America gains from the agreement–an agreement that allows Iran to develop ballistic missiles and fund international terrorism.