Before the nuclear deal with Iran, our government said that any windfall from lifting sanctions would have to be devoted entirely to domestic rebuilding:
“We gave [our Gulf Arab allies] our best analysis of the enormous needs that Iran has internally and the commitment that Iran has made to its people in terms of shoring up its economy and improving economic growth,” Mr. Obama said at the conclusion of a meeting with leaders of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Well, let's just say that Iran won't "dramatically" increase their funding for aggression:
The [American] officials also claimed that most of the sanctions, including multilateral sanctions, could be snapped back into place if Iran cheated, and they argued that giving Iran tens of billions of dollars in cash won’t dramatically increase Iran’s spending on terrorism and other nefarious activities.
This summer, we find that notwithstanding the enormous internal needs of Iran that Iran has doubled their defense budget:
The government budget did increase 35 percent this year but not a lot of the additional $25 billion went to fostering economic growth. The defense budget nearly doubled, to $19 billion.
I only started out life as a math major, so maybe my skills have atrophied, but doubling the defense budget seems like a lot. Perhaps even "dramatic."
No word on secret funding for mayhem.
Oh, I'm not done yet. Check it out:
According to a September 1st report by Saeed Ghasseminejad of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), when Tehran finalized its 2016-2017 budget in April, they invoked what's known as article 22, "which required the executive branch to transfer to the military the funds it receives from settling legal disputes with foreign countries and companies."
"The following month, a member of the parliament’s presiding board confirmed that the legislature had indeed allocated $1.7 billion from legal settlements to the defense budget."
So the cash we shipped to Iran went entirely to Iran's military.
Say, here's a tour of Iranian adventures, if you are interested.
How the administration expects Iran to become a responsible regional power under the motivation of the soothing balms of hope and change is beyond my grasp of nuance.
Iran will become a regional power, no doubt, with their improved finances. How responsible they will be is not likely to match our president's hopes.
Although I'm sure super genius Kerry will figure 2 out of 3 is pretty darned good.
UPDATE: State Department: The deal is dead. Long live the deal:
Could [State Department Mark] Toner rule out the chance that the nuke agreement “has served as a cause for [Iran's recent] more aggressive posture”?
The spokesman’s unexpectedly candid reply: “I can’t rule that out.” While acknowledging Obama’s hope for change in Iran’s behavior, he admitted, “We’ve not seen that shift to a constructive engagement.”
Of course, after citing incidents that “needlessly escalate tensions” Toner then said it all makes the deal even “more important, because the last thing anyone would want to see in the region is a nuclear-armed Iran.”
So the Iran deal hopes that an infusion of cash brings Iran into the community of nations and that Iran will not even dream of wanting nuclear weapons to support an aggressive foreign policy by the time the deal expires--if Iran obeys the deal or doesn't have a bypass route built through North Korea.
This transformation is key because the deal will only delay--again, at best--Iran's ability to build nukes through the life of the deal's provisions.
But the Iran nuclear deal seems to have made Iran more aggressive, as the State Department seems to think is possible. So Iran is not reformed, has cash to carry out their unreformed aggressive policies, and will at best be prevented from developing nukes for about a decade.
Which the State Department believes indicates the deal is more important than ever.
Have a super sparkly day.