Iran’s Regime Increasing Nuclear Spending, Leaked Documents Reveal – OpEd


The Iranian regime continues to allocate additional funds to expand its nuclear program, according to a leaked document obtained by “GhyamSarnegouni,” a dissident Iranian group that infiltrated the servers of the regime’s presidential offices on May 29 and acquired a large trove of classified documents.

The confidential letter, addressed to the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi, was written by the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Mohammad Eslami. In the letter, Eslami requests a larger budget to enhance the regime’s nuclear activities by constructing more nuclear power plants. It appears that the transfer of two billion euros from the regime’s Planning and Budget Organization to the AEOI had been delayed by Massoud Mirkazemi, prompting Eslami to seek a resolution through Raisi’s intervention.

“In order to estimate the budget for constructing nuclear power plants in the 2022-2023 budget bill, a request has been made to include a specific phrase in the relevant notes. However, Dr. Mirkazmi expressed doubt regarding the opinion of His Excellency, which can be approached in either of the following ways: 1) Allocating two billion euros annually from crude oil for this purpose in the bill or 2) Approving this proposal in the Supreme National Security Council Plan,” the letter reads.

The letter suggests two possible approaches and Raisi promptly agrees to include the provision of two billion euros worth of crude oil to support the construction of nuclear power plants.

“Enclosed is an image of the letter dated 11/27/2022 from the esteemed Presidential Deputy and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization regarding the budget forecast request for the construction of nuclear power plants in the 2022-2023 budget bill. It is hereby announced that the honorable president has agreed to the first proposal and its inclusion in the 2022-2023 budget bill,” the letter reads.

It is worth noting that the lion’s share of the budget goes to military apparatus, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Army, and Basij militia, which all fall under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s control. Additionally, the budget sets aside a minimum of $5 billion in crude oil to enhance the regime’s “defense capacities and strategic research,” surpassing the previous year’s allocation of $4 billion.

While the regime’s budget prioritizes military expenditures, it largely neglects the demands of the Iranian people. Reports indicate that minimal attention has been given to improving the welfare of households in the country, resulting in a decrease in purchasing power and exacerbating social inequality.

Tehran’s main revenue sources for the 2022-2023 budget include oil exports, tax revenues, and adjustments to the official dollar exchange rate. The government aims to earn 3,810 trillion rials from oil sales, with an increase in the regime’s target for daily oil sales despite market. Additionally, the government plans to boost tax revenues by nearly 62 percent compared to the current budget.

In the recent revelations by GhyamSarnegouni, it was disclosed that the Iranian regime obtained confidential reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) years ago. The leaked letter from Eslami to the regime’s Minister of Foreign Affairs confirms the regime’s access to IAEA information.

“Greetings, Mr. Dr. Amir Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs, respectfully forward the attached image numbered 8313531/9649, dated 05/29/2022, depicting the activities of the Foreign Intelligence Organization and the Ministry of Intelligence concerning Iran’s request for access to Atomic Energy Agency information. Please review and consider the points outlined in the accompanying letter,” reads a leaked letter by Eslami to the regime’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

According to a May 29, 2022, report by the Wall Street Journal, the clerical regime had obtained “access to secret United Nations atomic agency reports” nearly twenty years ago. These reports were then circulated among high-ranking officials who meticulously crafted cover stories and manipulated records to hide any evidence of suspected past involvement in nuclear weapons development.

The leaked files shed light on Eslami’s priorities and Raisi’s willingness to pursue the regime’s illicit nuclear ambitions. It remains uncertain whether the international community possesses the same level of motivation to prevent such outcomes and address the regime’s actions effectively.

Shamsi Saadati writes for the PMOI/MEK.

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