According to an analysis by the American Action Forum, Iran is estimated to have spent at least $37.4 million of the $1.7 billion cash payment from the Obama administration on state-sponsored terrorism.
That figure is based on Iran’s budget for it’s leading military organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is responsible for carrying out terror attacks that have killed Americans:
When viewed in light of Iran’s current spending levels, it is expected the Islamic Republic will use at least $37.4 million of this $1.7 billion to fund IRGC operations, which have led to bloody battles in Syria and terrorist attacks across the globe, according to the American Action Forum, a non-profit research organization headed by a former top congressional official.
“Applying the official spending levels to the U.S. payment to Iran, the $1.7 billion would mean $37.4 million for the IRGC,” according to research published by Rachel Hoff, AAF’s director of defense analysis. “Paying ransoms in exchange for Americans held abroad is one bad policy—indirectly funding terrorism is another.”
AAF has determined based on public reports by Iran that the country spends 3.4 percent of its total budget on defense needs, though some experts estimate the number is even higher.
At least “65 percent of that funding [goes] to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Iranian elite paramilitary force,” according to AAF. “That works out to 2.2 percent of Iran’s total budget for the IRGC, which actively supports terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. It is unlikely that Iran accurately reports its military or paramilitary spending, but the reported budget figures are useful as a baseline.”
The Obama administration has refused to disclose the names and affiliations of the Iranian officials to which the cash payments were directly made. Lawmakers suspect the administration may have dealt with members of the IRGC in the exchange:
At least one leading lawmaker told the Free Beacon on Monday that there is little doubt the IRGC played a key role in this cash exchange.
“For the Obama administration to argue that the IRGC was somehow not involved in the U.S. transfer of $1.7 billion—or more—in cash to Iran is totally unconvincing,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Free Beacon on Monday. “Given the IRGC’s extensive control of the Iranian economy, and its vast influence with Iran’s regime, it was most likely influential in the set-up and execution of the payment. Like other malicious actors, the IRGC is eager to get its hands on cash to fund its terrorist activities.”
Lawmakers have launched several congressional investigations into the circumstances surrounding the $1.7 billion payment.