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Former Pentagon Official: Iran Boosting Military Spending Ahead of Sanctions Relief

Iran has begun a weapons-buying spree shortly before it is due to receive over $100 billion in unfrozen funds as a result of the nuclear deal. Michael Rubin, a former Defense Department official who is now a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, noted these developments in an article published today in Newsweek.

With upwards of $100 billion in new investment now due in Tehran (even before Iran demonstrates its full compliance with the nuclear deal), Iranian authorities are starting their shopping spree, with a heavy emphasis on the military.

This shouldn’t surprise. While Obama argues that the Islamic Republic will use its financial windfall to benefit the Iranian people, recent history suggests otherwise: When the European Union flooded Iran with hard currency between 2000 and 2005 (during which time the price of oil also increased sharply), Iran invested the bulk of its windfall into military and covert nuclear programs.

On August 26 alone, Iran announced that it would buy planes, helicopters, and the controversial S-300 missile system from Russia. The expected military windfall will boost the fortunes of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was extended a $1 billion line of credit by Iran shortly before the nuclear deal was signed last month.

Experts fear that the weapons and surveillance systems that Iran will buy with unfrozen funds, especially from Europe, will allow it to increase the repression of its citizens. “Given a choice between guns and butter,” Rubin concluded, “Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will always choose guns.”

[Photo: Kampf Wagen / YouTube ]