Despite the economic crisis it is facing, the Iranian regime is raising the country’s defense budget by increasing the funding for its security institutions to confront the continuing nationwide strike and protests across Iran.
In an analysis of Iran’s 2018-2019 budget, the Institute for International Strategic Studies (IISS) based in London has concluded that the regime’s defense spending will be rising by almost 84 per cent in the funding for the country’s security institutions including the police force.
The institute also pointed out that the regime’s military budget is being modified such that the country’s religious institutions are also going to be strengthened.
The Iranian regime is clearly worrying about its future by further increasing the budgets both for religious and security institutions.
The religious institutions that receive generous amount of funding serve no purpose other than to support the country’s so-called Islamic ideology and to train the clerics in power.
This is one of the prime examples of the regime’s mismanagement of the country’s financial resources and economy and one of the many reasons for the continuation of the protests that have been going on for almost a year.
At the end of 2017, the people took to the streets to protest against the high prices, poverty and the regime’s corruption and plundering national wealth. The nationwide strike and protests are posing a great challenge to the regime and it is without a doubt a factor in the regime’s decision to increase funding for its two pillars – religious institutions and defense.
The increased funding for these sectors is also a very telling sign that the regime’s survival is under threat. The regime is dependent on suppression and human rights violations including high number of executions at home and causing conflict and bloodshed across the Middle East thorough its proxies and militias spread across the region.
Another sign of the regime’s uncertain future is the factional infighting present at all levels of the regime’s leadership. Many officials of the regime are opposing this fund allocations in the budget too.
For years, the Iranian regime’s budget and resource allocation have been surrounded with ambiguity and secrecy. Jennifer Chandler from IISS said many organisations in Iran and in particular the country’s military are able to access funds that are not part of the official budget, maximizing the funds allocated to them.
The report stated: “The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) engages in aggressive revenue-raising activities by establishing private companies, as well as using its powerful political influence to secure infrastructure contracts and private tenders worth millions of dollars in diverse sectors, including housing development, energy, road construction, food and transportation.”
This would explain to a large extent why the people of Iran want regime change. They know that their only hope of being able to live in a free and democratic Iran, as presented in the 10-Point Plataform of the NCRI’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, is the overthrow of the clerical regime