By Farsi al-Rifai
(Zaman Al Wasl)- A video produced by the Iranian opposition group “People’s Mujahidin of Iran” has shed light on the expenses spent by Mullah’s regime in Iran on the war in Syria to support the survival of the Syrian regime.
The video report shows with figures, pictures, and footages that the Mullah’s regime has devoted the entirety of its resources since the very first days to support Bashar Assad and keep him in power no matter the costs.
The report notes that the Mullah’s regime “has spent a lot of money at the expense of the Iranian people to keep the criminal in power because taking down Assad would have been a devastating blow to the Iranian regime and its projects in the region.”
The report cited a statement made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, “If we won’t fight in Syria, then the fight will be in Kermanshah, Hamadan, and the other provinces.”
The report shows that the Mullah’s regime has opened a number of channels to fund the war on Syrians from the pockets of Iranians. The primary way was to directly pour funds to Assad which is estimated at $6 billion every year. Other means were through trade with the regime which amounts to approximately $1.3 billion annually, whereas Syria’s exports to Iran wouldn’t exceed $91 million dollars in the past. The third way was through civilian non-military aids which were estimated at $2.8 billion per year.
The report also draws upon statements made by Jessy Chahine, the spokesperson for the office of the U.N. special envoy “Stefan De Mistura” who said that “the Special Envoy has estimated Iran spends $6 billion annually on supporting the Assad regime in Syria.”
According to another report by “Nadim Shehadi”, an economics teacher at US-based Tufts University, estimations suggest that the Assad government has lost almost all of its resources between 2012 and 2013, where the Iranian regime spent $14 to 15$ billion in aids to Damascus.
The American news agency Bloomberg cited “Stephen Haydman”, former vice president for applied research on conflict at the U.S. Institute of Peace, who said that the total support from Iran for Assad would be between $15 and $20 billion annually.
“Mehrdad Emadi”, a senior economic advisor to the EU, noted, according to the reputable report, that the cost of the military presence of the Iranian Republic in Syria and Iraq and its financial support for three states, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, is are estimated at over $16.5 billion annually.
The report shows that the Iranian regime has sent most of its agents in Iraq and Lebanon to Syria in order to further its capacities to continue the war. Therefore, these expenses are actually for the war in Syria. In addition, the Iranian regime spends a large amount of funds to send Afghani and Pakistani mercenaries to Syria, as 2,000 Afghani mercenaries were killed while 8,000 were injured according to “Zuhair Mojahed” commander of the Afghani forces with the Syrian regime.
The report concludes that the Iranian regime spends an average of $10-12 billion in Syria annually, while the annual support afforded by the government to Iranian citizens is approximately $8 billion. The Iranian people pays the costs of inciting this war by Khamenei, as 25 million Iranians are living in a bitter poverty while unemployment has plagued millions of youths, while 80% of Iranians live under the poverty limit. It surely wasn’t a coincidence that protesters shouted in the demonstrations that erupted in last December, “Leave Syria, think about us.”
Zaman Al Wasl