Iran to up military budget after US ‘saber-rattling’

Iran's Parliament speaker Ali Larijani during a press conference on the sidelines of the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. (photo credit: AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)
A senior Iranian official said Saturday that the Islamic Republic would boost military spending in response to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark that the US reserves a military option if Tehran breaks the interim nuclear deal reached with world powers in November. Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency calling Kerry’s statement on Thursday “saber-rattling against the Islamic Republic of Iran” and called on lawmakers to “fully understand this sensitivity and take practical measures against it.”  Larijani gave no indication of what sort of budgetary increase he intended to put forward. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Iran had a military budget of $6.2 billion in 2012. Kerry said Thursday that the US military is prepared to act against Iran if Tehran tries to continue the enrichment of uranium beyond permitted levels or break out toward a nuclear weapons capability. “If they do that, then the military option that is available to the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do,” he told Al Arabiya. More




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