Report: Iran’s Elite Military Unit, Sponsor of Terrorist Groups Could Receive $3 Billion Windfall After Nuclear Deal

Tehran could secure $150 billion in total sanctions relief

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps / AP

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) could receive more than $3 billion in additional funding, a 50 percent budget increase, as a result of sanctions relief from the recently completed nuclear deal, according to a new report.

Tehran has reported that it spends about 3.4 percent of its total budget on defense. Of that amount, 65 percent, or more than $6 billion, is devoted to the IRGC. The paramilitary group is the premier sponsor of terrorist proxies in the Middle East, including the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza, as well as the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Experts say Iran could secure as much as $150 billion in unfrozen assets and oil revenues from the nuclear agreement. That could translate into at least a $3 billion boost for the IRGC, according to the American Action Forum:

It is important to remember that much of Iran’s financial support for terror remains off the books. Iran’s official budget, however, reveals the minimum amount the country spends on the military and the IRGC. If current spending trends continue, the $140 billion windfall would mean at least an additional $4.8 billion in defense spending. Of this, $3.1 billion would go specifically to the IRGC—amounting to a 50 percent budget increase. 

Nothing in the deal would prevent Iran from spending more than that to fund their military or terrorist organizations and authoritarian regimes throughout the Middle East. Already this summer, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered that the Islamic Republic would increase defense spending to at least 5 percent of its budget.