Politics FACT CHECK: Has Iran’s Military Budget Grown 40% Since The Nuclear Deal?

21:11  16 may  2018
21:11  16 may  2018 Source:   dailycaller.com

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Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo © REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran

President Donald Trump claimed that Iran’s military budget has grown nearly 40 percent since the U.S. signed the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.

Verdict: Unsubstantiated

Estimates range from 13 percent to 37 percent due to a lack of transparency surrounding Iran’s defense spending.

Fact Check:

Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord. The deal, signed in July 2015, required Iran to dismantle two-thirds of its centrifuges and give up 95 percent of its enriched uranium. Provisions took effect January 2016.

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" Iran ' s Military Budget is up more than 40 % since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached "In the years since the deal was reached, Iran ' s military budget has grown by almost 40%, while its In a fact check of that remark, The New York Times deemed the claim "exaggerated."

The Obama administration estimated that the deal would lengthen the “breakout” period – the amount of time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon – from two to three months to about one year. But the agreement included sunset provisions, making it a temporary fix.

The deal provided Iran with sanctions relief estimated at somewhere between $29 billion and $150 billion. The Treasury Department separately paid Iran $1.7 billion in cash to settle a legal claim, although the timing of a prisoner swap led to accusations that the funds doubled as a ransom payment.

These concessions, Trump argued, have allowed Iran to fund its military ambitions across the Middle East at the expense of its economy.

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" Iran ' s Military Budget is up more than 40 % since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached "In the years since the deal was reached, Iran ' s military budget has grown by almost 40%, while its In a fact check of that remark, The New York Times deemed the claim "exaggerated."

" Iran ' s Military Budget is up more than 40 % since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached "In the years since the deal was reached, Iran ' s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while In a fact check of that remark, The New York Times deemed the claim "exaggerated."

“In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly. After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond,” Trump said during the announcement.

Iran has a fragile economy – inflation regularly hits double digits, youth unemployment stands at 30 percent and the value of Iran’s currency continues to decline.

So when a budget proposal was leaked in Iran showing an increase to military spending and cuts to cash subsidies, Iranians took to the streets in protest. Protestors could be heard chanting, “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I will give my life for Iran,” referring to the financial support Iran provides to its proxies around the Middle East.

Military spending is only one dimension of Iranian discontent – secret parts of the budget were revealed showing how much money was going to religious institutes that support the hardliner clerics. These clerics are seen by many in Iran as advancing their own interests at the expense of the Iranian people.

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" Iran ' s Military Budget is up more than 40 % since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached "In the years since the deal was reached, Iran ' s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while In a fact check of that remark, The New York Times deemed the claim "exaggerated."

" Iran ' s Military Budget is up more than 40 % since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached "In the years since the deal was reached, Iran ' s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while In a fact check of that remark, The New York Times deemed the claim "exaggerated."

Protests began in late 2017, leaving 25 dead.

Critics say that sanctions relief on oil – the lifeblood of the Iranian economy – and other concessions have been a windfall for Iran’s military. Trump claimed that its budget has ballooned by nearly 40 percent in just a couple years.

His statistic may come from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish research organization that studies conflict and arms control. Adjusted for inflation, it estimates that Iran spent $14.5 billion on its military in 2017, up from $10.6 billion in 2015 – a 37 percent increase.

Iran’s defense spending has fluctuated drastically over the years, but the latest upswing began in 2014, the year before the Iran deal was reached.

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