The budget for the radical Revolutionary Guard in Iran surged abruptly after President Obama secretly transferred $1.7 billion in cash to the rogue Islamic nation, according to Middle East experts.
“In seeking to strengthen the policy of rapprochement with Iran, the Obama administration (through its Treasury Department) has surreptitiously transferred to [Iran President Hassan] Rohani’s government two tranches, in cash, for a total of $1.7 billion, allegedly as the cumulative interest on Iran’s deposits, made during the Shah regime before the 1979 revolution, for the purchase of American weapons,” reported Nimrod Raphaeli, a senior analyst at the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Raphaeli acknowledged it’s “a commonly accepted premise that money is fungible.”
“While we cannot establish whether the money transferred from the U.S. went directly into the expanded defense budget, it, at a minimum, enabled the government to release an equal amount of money for defense purposes,” he wrote.
“It is noteworthy that the increase in the proposed defense budget for 2017 is approximately equal to the amount transferred by the U.S.,” he continued.
“Whatever the source of the defense budget increase, the IRGC will have ample resources to expand its nefarious activities far beyond the borders of the Islamic Republic,” the report said.
Ari Lieberman at FrontPage Magazine, when the deal went down this year, pointed out that the Obama administration refused to “say where the funds ended up.”
He called it the latest “fiasco” and “reflected a settlement of Iran’s claims against the U.S. stemming from the 1979 aborted arms transaction.”
“Ironically, the Iranians were not required to pay anything to the 52 American hostages they kidnapped in 1979. Those hostages were held in dungeon-like conditions for 444 days. Like all transactions conducted by the Obama administration, the benefits flow one way.”
The commentator found that even though the Obama administration denied it, “it is clear that the first installment of $400 million was a ransom payment made to secure the release of Americans held hostage in Iran.”
“We thought that Obama could stoop no lower after he traded five hard-core Taliban terrorists held at Guantanamo for the deserter and traitor Bowe Bergdal. We were wrong,” Lieberman wrote. “The feckless White House is now in the business of disgracefully paying two-bit dictators protection money.
“Obama can issue all the denials he wants but if it walks like a ransom payment and talks like a ransom payment, it is most likely a ransom payment.”
Raphaeli explained the government of Rohani “has submitted to the Majlis (parliament) a draft budget for the fiscal year March 2017-March 2018 for a total of $99.7 billion equivalent.”
That, he said, is up 13.9 percent, with a “sharp increase of 39 percent … in funds earmarked for defense, including a big increase in the budget of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards.”
The report described the IRGC as “a potent military force accountable to the supreme leader, in regional politics, and particularly in Syria and Iraq.”
“A branch of the IRGC, the Qods Force Brigade, commanded by Gen. Qasem Soleimani, is responsible for spreading Iran’s subversive and, often, terrorist activities across the Middle East and beyond.”
He noted the defense budget rose from $6 billion in 2013 to $8 billion in 2014, and in excess of $10 billion for 2015.
However, the section of the military budget earmarked for the IRGC has registered a far greater increase than the military budget as a whole. The budget allocation for the Revolutionary Guard was $3.3 billion in 2013, increased to $6 billion in 2015, declined to $4.5 billion in 2016 but increased by 53 percent to $6.9 billion for 2017.
He said the IRGC also gets large cash deposits from “its control over energy, construction, banking, and marketing (as well as smuggling of contraband.)”