Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Washington: Iran Paid $16 Billion to Destabilize the Region

Washington: Iran Paid $16 Billion to Destabilize the Region

Saturday, 21 July, 2018 - 08:45
Members of an Iranian militia, which has had some of its operatives deployed to Syria. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Washington has estimated the amount of money Iran has spent on the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its militias in the Arab world at about $16 billion.


Tehran also gives Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” more than $700 million a year, in addition to supporting other militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen, with the aim of destabilizing the countries of the Middle East region. It was also a major cause of the aggravation of the Syrian refugee crisis around the world.


A senior State Department official told a number of reporters via a phone conference that the funds granted by Iran to Assad amounted to $4 billion in form of credits to strengthen the regime’s capabilities, leading to the Syrian refugee crisis, which is the worst since World War II.


The official was speaking prior to the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to Los Angeles, California, on Sunday to give a speech in solidarity with the Iranian community under the title “Support the Iranian voices” in America. More than 250,000 US citizens of Iranian origin live in California.


“We know that Iran uses its economic revenues to finance terrorism. There is no country in the world that sponsors and supports terrorism more than Iran,” the official said.


He added that the United States was committed to the list of 12 requests made by Pompeo in his speech in May, which aims to change the malicious behavior of Iran - not change the regime - stop the Iranian nuclear threats and its support for terrorism and curb the ballistic missile program.

He noted that Washington has re-evaluated the future of US-Iranian relations and has drawn up a clear strategy for implementing that vision.


He also stressed that the US has put on the table the possibility of a treaty with Iran if the regime in Tehran decided to change its behavior and started acting as a normal country.

Editor Picks