With the nuclear deal with Iran soon to be etched in stone, the country is projected to receive anywhere from $100-150 billion in unfrozen assets–American Action Forum says $140 billion– as part of sanctions relief in return for limiting its nuclear weapons program. Yes, a known state-sponsor of terrorism is receiving billions that won’t be spent on terrorist activities. Remember, Secretary of State John Kerry forcefully said, “They’re not allowed to do that,” whereas National Security Adviser Susan Rice admitted that some of that money could fund such nefarious operations. Given the numbers crunched by American Action Forum, this cash injection could increase Iran’s terror funding by 50 percent.
The United States Institute of Peace and the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation have two separate analyses on Iran’s military spending since we really don’t know the actual figure–and most of their terrorist funding is not listed in their official budgets (of course). USIP has Iran’s military spending ranging between $12-14 billion; Arms Control says it’s about $18 billion. AAF reported that Iran intends to spend 3.4 percent of its total budget in defense. That’s $10 billion, 65 percent of which went to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps–one of Iran’s elite combined forces units–that also promotes and funds terrorism abroad. They also noted that that figure equals $6 billion, or 2.2 percent of the entire budget [emphasis mine]:
Of course, not all of the money would go directly to military spending and terror finance, as Iran has a variety of existing contract obligations and domestic spending needs.
It is important to remember that much of Iran’s financial support for terror remains off the books. Iran’s official budget, however, reveals the minimum amount the country spends on the military and the IRGC. If current spending trends continue, the $140 billion windfall would mean at least an additional $4.8 billion in defense spending. Of this, $3.1 billion would go specifically to the IRGC – amounting to a 50 percent budget increase.
Nothing in the deal would prevent Iran from spending more than that to fund their military or terrorist organizations and authoritarian regimes throughout the Middle East. Already this summer, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered that the Islamic Republic would increase defense spending to at least 5 percent of its budget.
No wonder why Americans are against this agreement.