National Security

Iran Scrambling To Develop Missile Tech Before Trump Takes Office

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Iran’s parliament voted to allocate major spending towards to its long-range missile program Monday, in a likely attempt to thwart President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for Iran.

Trump repeatedly said the Iranian nuclear deal is one of the “worst deals ever negotiated” throughout the 2016 election, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence vowed to “rip up” the deal after consulting with U.S. allies upon assuming office.

Part of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal stipulated that Iran would receive approximately $150 billion in sanctions relief, giving a boon to the military’s budgets.

“Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel … but also intended to frighten Europe and someday maybe hit even the United States,” Trump reportedly told a gathering of the American Israel Political Action Committee in March 2016. He continued, “We’re not going to let that happen.”

Iran is currently under sanction by the U.S. government for its ballistic missile program. “Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism pose a continuing threat to the region, to the United States, and to our partners worldwide,” a U.S. Department of the Treasury spokesman said in a statement in March. “We will continue to use all of our tools to counteract Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism, including through sanctions.”

Iran’s parliament also voted to spend nearly 2 percent of its budget on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is under international sanction for its ongoing role in sponsoring terrorist groups like Hezbollah. A January 2016 reuters report notes that the IRGC is poised to reap the benefits of sanctions relief from the Obama administration as part of the nuclear deal.

“More money means more funds for the IRGC,” an Iranian official told reporters at the time.

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