Iran's parliament adds $3 bln to defense budget as response to U.S. military option

Photo: Iran's parliament adds $3 bln to defense budget as response to U.S. military option / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranian parliament has allocated an additional $3 billion to strengthen the country's defense capacity for the next Iranian calendar year as a response to the U.S. officials' statements that the military option against Iran is still on the table, head of the parliamentary Budget Commission Qolam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam said, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Feb. 20.

"We allocated some extra $3 billion to the country's defense budget for next year in response to them and to show that Iran will continue to boost its defense power," the MP underlined.

On Feb. 5, Iranian parliament allocated some $3 billion of surplus oil revenues to the armed forces and related organizations for the next Iranian calendar year 1393, which starts on March 21, 2014. The Iranian parliament approved generalities of the Iran's national budget bill on Jan. 29 and now is studying and approving details of it.

The budgets of the Iranian army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have increased significantly in Iran's next year budget bill. The army's budget has increased by 50 percent and was set at 52 trillion rials (about $2.1 billion), and the IRGC's budget has increased by 30 percent and was set at 44 trillion rials (about $1.8 billion), Mehr News Agency reported on Dec.10.

U.S. officials have repeatedly announced that the "military option" is still on the table, if the Islamic Republic continues to enrich uranium beyond the permitted levels.

Iranian senior commanders in recent weeks have responded to the U.S. officials` statements claiming that these statements are political bluff.

Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said last week that the successful test-fire of ballistic missiles which took place on Feb. 9, is a response to the U.S. officials' statements that the military option against Iran is still on the table.

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