Fact Check: Has Iran’s Military Budget Grown 40% Since the Nuclear Deal?

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.

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 . . .

“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 . . .

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. (Read more from “Fact Check: Has Iran’s Military Budget Grown 40% Since the Nuclear Deal?” HERE)

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