Iran defense budget increases 145% thanks to cash from nuke deal

The deal that supposedly reined in the Iranian nuclear program has proven to be a windfall for the Iranian military.

Lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic has allowed its military to increase the budget by 145%, giving the Iranians an offensive military capability they lacked until President Obama gave it to them.

Washington Free Beacon:

Iranian officials announced late last month that Iran's defense budget had increased by 145 percent under President Hassan Rouhani and that the military is moving forward with a massive restructuring effort aimed at making it "a forward moving force," according to regional reports.

Iranian leaders have stated since the Iran deal was enacted that they are using the massive amounts of cash released under the agreement to fund the purchase of new military equipment and other armaments. Iran also has pursued multi-million dollar arms deals with Russia since economic sanctions were nixed as part of the deal.

One of those deals included the sale of the Russians' highly sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft missile system.  The S-300 is a huge leap forward in Iran's ability to shoot down U.S. warplanes.

Leading members of Congress and U.S. officials working on the Iran portfolio suspect that at least a portion of the Obama administration's $1.7 billion cash payment to Iran  has been used to fund and support terrorists in the Middle East.

The latest disclosure about Iran's military buildup is further fueling concerns that U.S. cash assets returned to the country – which were released with no strings attached by the Obama administration – are helping Iran pursue a more aggressive military stance against U.S. forces in the region.

"President Obama flat-out caved in to Iran when he handed them the disastrous nuclear deal and $1.7 billion in cash payments that could assist Iran's military," Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.), an opponent of the nuclear deal, told the Washington Free Beacon. "So it's no surprise that the world's lead sponsor of terrorism would feel emboldened to become more aggressive in the region and flex its military muscle."

Iranian Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari announced the military buildup during Iran's annual Army Day. While the announcement did not grab many headlines in the Western media, national security insiders have been discussing the announcement for weeks, according to conversations with multiple sources.

Iran's goal is to turn its army into an "offensive" force, a major shift from its historic role as a support agent for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC, Iran's extremely well funded primary fighting force.

Iran hopes to revamp its army from top to bottom, including improving logistical capabilities, weaponry, and other armaments.

Mahan Abedin, an Iran analyst writing in Middle East Eye, described the announcement as a major shift in Iranian military policy that would allow the Islamic Republic to intervene in the Persian Gulf region, where the U.S. military has a significant presence.

Our Gulf State allies are extremely nervous about this buildup and simultaneous U.S. pull-back in the Middle East.  The Iranian posture is certain to set off a conventional arms race in the region and may even convince the Saudis to go nuclear. 

Did the Obama administration anticipate the Iranian military buildup?  We were told at the time that it was probable that the Iranians would increase funding for their terrorist activities, but very little was said about the windfall for their conventional arms.  President Obama deliberately set out to make Iran a regional superpower that soon – despite his claims to the contrary – will possess nuclear weapons.

It may be the dumbest, most reckless, most dangerous thing a U.S. president has ever done. 

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