Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 21
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's military budget growth for next year (to start March 21, 2015) is related to the salaries of the military staff, Esmaeil Kovsari, MP of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Islamic Republic said.
Kovsari said that the administration plans to increase the salaries of the all ministries' employees by 14 to 15 percent next year and the military staff is not excluded, Iran's Fars news agency reported Dec. 21.
Kovsari, who is a former director of the Security Department in the Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said that the Islamic Republic's military budget is the lowest among the regional countries.
The government's proposed national budget for next year amounts about 8.379 quadrillion rials (about $293 billion).
The Iranian government has offered a 32.7 percent rise in defense expenditure in next year's budget bill compared to the current year's budget, most of which will be assigned to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
IRGC budget has increased to 174 trillion rials (about $6.11 billion based on the official rate of each USD at 28,500 rials in the budget bill). About 100 trillion rials (about $3.51 billion) of this amount is allocated to Khatam-ol Anbia Construction Headquarters, some 60 percent of IRGC's total budget for next year.
Khatam-ol Anbia is a giant company with 25,000 employees. It controls over 812 registered companies inside and outside Iran. Some 10 percent of the company's employees are IRGC members and the rest are contractors. The company is also connected to Iran's oil and gas industry.
Earlier, Mohammad Reza Sabzalipour, head of Iran's World Trade Center told Trend that while considering the fact that the headquarter implements construction and development projects, the increase in the next year's military budget is mainly connected with the development projects rather than military purposes.
Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh