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February 26, 2016 5:18 am

Iran Increases Spending on Global Terrorism

avatar by Steven Emerson

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.  Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In light of recent sanctions relief, the Islamic Republic of Iran is investing in the murder of Israelis and anti-regime critics.

On Wednesday, Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fatahali proclaimed that Iran supports the “Jerusalem intifada” and plans to pay families of Palestinian terrorists who target Israelis.

“Continuing Iran’s support for the oppressed Palestinian people, Iran announces the provision of financial aid to families of Palestinian martyrs who were killed in the ‘Jerusalem intifada’,” Fatahali said in front of the leaders of several Palestinian factions during a news conference in Beirut.

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The Iranian official confirmed that every terrorist’s family will receive $7,000 for attacking Israelis, and $30,000 if a family’s home is demolished by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The financial assistance will be transferred via the Palestinian branch of the Shahid Institution, established in 1992 in Iran.

Fatahali also called for Israel’s destruction, receiving praise from Hamas.

“The martyrs’ blood will release the entire Palestine, from the river to the sea,” said the ambassador.

Hamas foreign relations chief Osama Hamdan extended his appreciation for Iran’s ongoing sponsorship of Palestinian terrorism, acknowledging that the Iranian initiative is not the first time support of this kind has been offered.

In January, Iran’s main terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, coordinated a Palestinian terrorist cell attempting to conduct a suicide bombing and shooting attack against Israelis. Israeli authorities foiled the plot. The operatives received $5,000 from Hezbollah, which covered the purchase of a sub-machine gun that was discovered in possession of two operatives when they were arrested.

Israel is not the only target for Iranian terror.

Its state-run media outlets raised $600,000 to bolster a 1989 bounty for the killing of Salman Rushdie, a British author of The Satanic Verses, a book Iran considers blasphemous.

After the book’s release, the Islamic Republic’s founding leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, called on Muslims to kill Rushdie, forcing the author into years of hiding. An Iranian religious organization increased the initial bounty to $3.3 million in 2012, demonstrating that Iran will go to great lengths to stifle critics of the regime.

These developments show that as the international community engages with Iran and lifts economic sanctions, part of the released funds are already being transferred to augment the regime’s sponsorship of terrorism worldwide.

Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.

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