America has been bankrolling defense spending for allies like Israel and Egypt for a long time, but with Obama’s new deal with Iran, we are now financing Iran’s arms race as well.
In January, the U.S, Treasury transferred $1.7 billion to Iran’s Central Bank as part of a prisoner swap and the implementation of Obama’s nuclear deal.
With no oversight in place, Iran’s Guardian Council instructed Iran’s Central Bank to transfer the money to the military as part of the government’s 2017 budget.
“Article 22 of the budget for 2017 says the Central Bank is required to give the money from the legal settlement of Iran’s pre- and post-revolutionary arms sales of up to $1.7 billion to the defense budget,” said Saeed Ghasseminejad, an associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Republicans, and even some Democrats predicted that the money would help fund Iran’s military and have opposed the deal from the very start.
The Obama administration claims the $1.7 billion payment was a bargain for taxpayers because the interest rate would have been much steeper if the matter had been decided at the Hague by a tribunal created to settle cases between the U.S. and Iran after 1979.
Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican, called for an investigation into the payment, claiming that the transfer was more like a ransom payment for the release of American prisoners.
The Iranian commander of the Basiji militia, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, said at the time: “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies.”
“The fact that U.S. taxpayers appear to be funding Iran’s military is outrageous,” Pompeo said.