Iran’s Military Buildup Is Funded By Illicit Oil Sales

( As the Biden administration is still attempting to negotiate with Iran for a nuclear agreement similar to the one crafted by Obama in 2015, the country is reportedly funneling money into its military and terrorist proxies with money funded by its illicit oil sales.

Iranian military spending has largely jumped in 2022 as its multi-billion dollar oil industry was bolsters by Biden’s failure to implement U.S. sanctions, which could be seen as part of a larger effort to show Iran good faith when it comes to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran reportedly allocated $10.5 billion this year for its military budget, up from $4.5 billion in 2021, and $3.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion for its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a paramilitary fighting force founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 that backs terrorist groups across the region.

“Once it became clear that the Biden administration would not enforce sanctions as strictly as the Trump administration, the Iranian government drastically increased its military spending,” according to UANI’s latest analysis. “These revenue changes have led to an increase in the Iranian government’s military spending, which includes outlays to its terrorist proxies.”

Iran became “substantially richer over Biden’s first year in office,” the group stated, adding that this was “partly due to high oil prices but also due to the increased export volumes.” Most of Iran’s oil sales were to China, Venezuela, and Syria. The country has seen its revenue from oil increase from $30 billion in 2021 to $43 billion in 2022, which are both substantial increases from just $12.5 billion in 2020 when sanctions were strictly enforced.

The group writes that analysts “generally agree that Iran was forced to reduce its support to Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Iraqi proxies, and the Houthis [in Yemen] as a result of the reimposition of U.S. sanctions” by then-President Trump. The Trump administration also imposed a “maximum pressure” campaign which greatly restricted Iran’s oil trade.

“The lack of sanctions on Iranian oil exports has led to a drastic increase in Iran’s military budget for 2022,” UANI chief of staff Claire Jungman told the Washington Free Beacon. “This revenue also directly benefits Iran’s proxies, such as the Houthis and Hezbollah. It would not surprise me if we see further regional insecurity, destabilization, and humanitarian tragedies as Iran looks to display its power in the region as a result of its increased budget.”

Jungman added that there is no reason for Iran to concede to another nuclear agreement, as the country and its terrorist proxies are already getting what they want without any sanctions being imposed on them.

But if a nuclear agreement is reached on terms that alleviate sanctions for the country, then the spending into the military and terrorist proxies only stand to increase.

“There is no reason for Iran to scale back these activities,” UANI wrote. “Iran’s proxies and military—let alone its nuclear and ballistic missile program—directly benefit from sanctions relief.”