Parliament speaker: Iran to increase defense budget

Photo: Parliament speaker: Iran to increase defense budget / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

Iranian Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani said on January 26 that the country will increase its military budget in response to the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

It is while according to the Shargh Newspaper, the country's proposed budget for the next Iranian calendar year (to start on March 21) is around 367,106 billion rials (some $1.223 billion).

The figure is 9 per cent less than the current year's budget.

The Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said on January 25 that Iran's power to hit back in case of any attack is beyond US officials' comprehensio, Iranian ISNA News Agency reported.

Major General Jafari made the remarks in response to the US secretary of State John Kerry's latest claim.

Kerry said on Thursday that a military option against Iran is still open.

"Kerry should know that a face-to-face battle with the US is what revolutionaries across the world have been yearning for," Jafari said.

He went on to note that the American political and security experts believe that a military option against Iran should never be used.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani submitted the draft budget bill for the next Iranian year (to start on March 21, 2014) to the parliament on December 8.

Iran's next year budget bill has set the ceiling budget at 7830 trillion rials (about $315 billion based on the U.S. official exchange rate of 24,850 rials), the Fars News Agency reported on December 8.

The figure shows 8.4 percent growth year on year.

Meanwhile, the national development budget has been announced to be 1950 trillion rials (about $78 billion), a 240 percent rise compared to the year before.

According to government sources, the bill has been devised on an average oil price of 100 dollars per barrel and exchange rate of 26,000 rials for USD.

Iran's next calendar year starts on March 21, 2014.

Iran's economy is grappling with a series of issues including massive inflation and high liquidity.

Sanctions imposed by Western counties have also added to economic hardships.

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