Government Proposes To Boost IRGC Budget More Than Twofold

The public, formal part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard budget will increase 2.4 times next year and Iran’s armed forces will receive crude oil to sell abroad.

In the budget draft bill presented to parliament on Sunday President Ebrahim Raisi’s government proposed a 930 trillion rial budget for Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, IRGC. Last year that number was 380 trillion rials and the year before that was 240 trillion.

The trajectory of ever higher budgets for the IRGC and other entities that directly support and defend the Islamic Republic against domestic opponents is vivid in the new draft. The fiscal year will start on March 21, 2022.

The state broadcaster, the main propaganda arm of the regime and a host of clerical entities will also receive double-digit boosts to the current budgets, while an $8-billion subsidy for imports of food and medicine will be discontinued.

In addition, the government announced that 4.5 billion euros worth of crude oil will be put at the disposal of the armed forces to sell. This means the lion’s share will go to the IRGC, which has to find middlemen and illicit ways to export the oil, giving rise to corruption.

The same scenario happened during former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency in early 2010s, when for example the police was given oil to sell to provide for its needs. In the end it came to light that nearly $200 million of oil revenue in 2012 was never returned to the country.

A businessman, Babak Zanjani, who is now in jail with the death penalty hanging over his head, was a middleman selling oil during international sanctions also in the early 2010s, who failed to pay back at least $2.7 billion. His accomplices in the government were never identified. It would have not been easy for him to embezzle such a large amount of money without insider support.

Source: Iran International

Also Read: The Revolutionary Guards’ Outsize Share of Iran’s Next Budget

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