• This Is How Much Cash Iran Is Spending To Keep Assad Alive

    Iran spends $6 billion annually to support Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, and if a nuclear agreement is signed, Iran’s military budget could benefit from the unfreezing of $150 billion in offshore accounts.

    Provided by the U.N.’s envoy to Syria, the estimate is much higher than what the Obama administration has suggested Tehran spends to keep Assad in power, reports Bloomberg. But even the U.N.’s $6 billion figure is on the low end compared to other experts’ estimates, Bloomberg reports:

    Nadim Shehadi, the director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University, said his research shows that Iran spent between $14 and $15 billion in military and economic aid to the Damascus regime in 2012 and 2013, even though Iran’s banks and businesses were cut off from the international financial system.

    The administration hasn’t disclosed estimates for what Iran is spending to back regional allies, but President Barack Obama has been dismissive of Iran’s estimated $15 billion military budget, comparing it $150 billion budgets of Gulf Arab states.

    If a final deal is signed between Iran and the P5+1 by the June 30 deadline — with Iran agreeing to limit nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions — its military capabilities will likely be bolstered by the influx of cash.

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