Rouhani, President of the religious fascism ruling Iran on April 18 acknowledged that: “Figures show that in the eleventh government (Rouhani’s government) the budget of defense capability compared to the beginning of this government has had 145% growth and that means that in hard economic times, the government efforts were to further strengthen the country’s armed forces. The eleventh government is proud to have taken steps in three and a half years, from the armed forces’ strategic equipment and facilities viewpoint, equal to ten years prior to it.” In a disgusting praise for Khamenei and repressive organs, he added: “The feature of our armed forces is that they have a commander in chief and this command is derived from Islam, Islamic jurisprudence, justice, and moderation.”
The reality is that the actual percentage increase in the military budget of the regime is much higher. Special payments to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards by Khamenei, Astan Qods Razavi and other organs affiliated with the Supreme Leader that are not taken into account in the official budget reach tens of billions of dollars. Similarly, most of the military and security costs of the regime in Syria are not accounted for in the budget. In addition, within the military and the security budget, the highest share belongs to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The official budget of military and security apparatus in 2017 is about 70,000 billion tomans (~ $19 billion) while the budget of the Ministry of Education with 13 million students and a million teachers is only 31,000 million tomans ($8.4 billion) and the budget of the Health and Medical Education is about 9900 billion tomans ($2.67 billion). As such the military budget is 2.2 times higher than the education budget and more than 7 times higher than the health budget.
The Iranian Resistance in a statement two and a half years ago, revealed the report of the Revolutionary Guard Ali Shamkhani to the regime’s Security Council after his visit to Syria. The statement said: “Khamenei has allocated to Syria the military and political budget and expense of a country and as such ‘Agha [Khamenei] has stated that Syria is our redline. Had it not been for the leader’s wisdom, everything would have been finished by now’ and in that case, we would have faced a calamity in Iraq and Lebanon and ‘even Tehran would have been affected’”. (Statement of the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, October 12, 2014).
Skyrocketing budget increase for the IRGC and suppressive forces is while more than half of the Iranian people live below the poverty line and according to the Deputy Minister of Health 30 percent of the people are hungry and even don’t have bread to eat (state-run media, August 21, 2016). The country’s economy suffered a crippling recession and the central bank said the national growth rate excluding oil during the first six months of 2016 was less than 0.9 percent.
This is only a corner of the disastrous performance of the clerical regime that has plunged the economy into crisis. The only way out of this crisis is the overthrow of the religious fascism that seeks its survival in the suppression and export of terrorism and nuclear projects.
Skyrocketing budget increase of the IRGC that has no other task than internal repression, and war and destruction in the region, especially Syria, Iraq and Yemen, once again proves this fact that different factions within the regime by whatever name have no differences in the suppression, warmongering and creating crises. The power struggle within the regime is over their share of power and a greater share of the plunder of the Iranian people assets.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 19, 2017