Iran raised $418 million to protect nuclear facilities

Sunday, November 19, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Secret wire-tappings of a senior Iranian politician have revealed that Iran has opened a special secret fund to finance its nuclear program, and has allocated a sum on $418 million for the protection of its facilities and to build a new top-secret nuclear facility.

The report, published this week by the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel says that the information was obtained by an undisclosed Western intelligence agency from an unnamed top Iranian official.

According to the information from the tappings obtained by Der Spiegel, the money in the fund will be used to upgrade the defense systems of several of Iran’s nuclear facilities, especially for the purpose of digging underground tunnels and bunkers in fear of an American or Israeli air-strike against them.

The report indicates that members of the Iranian Parliament have complained as early as February that they have no access to specific information in the national budget, including in a section titled “special fund” which was prepared by Vice President and head of budget planning Farhad Rahbar.

In addition, Rahbad also serves as one of the managers of the “development center for nuclear issues,” a fact which allowed him to increase the defense budget by 30 percent for both 2006 and 2007, and thus hide the special fund in it.

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