A few days ago, I came across a YouTube video (also posted on Iranian.com) of a speech by Hassan Abbasi, a political analyst and strategist closely linked to the Islamic regime in Iran. In the 15-minute video clip (which is in Persian), he relates a question asked of him earlier by a university student, who wondered why, with all the poor and needy in Iran, the Islamic regime provides financial support to groups in Lebanon and Gaza.
His answer, which he describes in detail, is very telling and surprisingly candid, so much so that I won’t be surprised if he is forced out because of it. Here is the gist of his answer (not verbatim, but summarized and reworded): There are several ministries and other organizations in Iran expressly charged with attending to the poor and needy. If they are not doing their jobs well, you have to address those entities and hold them accountable. The aid to Hezbollah and Hamas comes from IRI’s defense budget, because it has been determined to be the most cost-effective way of fighting IRI’s enemies. The very expensive and highly advanced Sahand frigate was hit by two missiles from a distance of 150 km and totally destroyed, right after leaving port. Similarly, any advanced submarine or aircraft will cost a lot of money, will be hard to maintain for dearth of spare parts, and will be destroyed swiftly in any conflict. A fraction of the money needed for such advanced systems spent on groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas produces much better results with regard to IRI’s security [end of his comments]. I am amazed that he acknowledged this strategy of using proxies to fight and die on behalf of IRI, not to mention openly admitting financial support for militant groups. He is essentially saying that Arab lives are less valuable and more cheaply bought than those of IRI’s Sepah. This assessment may be quite correct, but not something IRI would want the Arab street to hear, hence my prediction of the guy being forced out shortly.