Legislation to provide €20m funding for anti-western militant groups


IRAN’S PARLIAMENT, the majlis, has adopted legislation allocating $20 million (€13.34 million) for anti-western militant groups and investigations into US and British plots against the clerical regime.

The law says the funding should go to “progressive currents that resist the illegal activities by the governments of the US and Britain”, to “confront [their] plots and unjust restrictions” imposed on Iran and to expose their “human rights abuses”.

A committee consisting of representatives of Iran’s foreign ministry, intelligence services and elite Revolutionary Guards will manage the funds if the law is endorsed by the Council of Guardians, which vets all legislation to ensure it is in conformity with Islamic law.

Once the law is approved, recipients of funding are likely to be the Lebanese Shia Hizbullah movement and the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups.

Washington, in particular, has long demanded that Iran halt aid to these organisations, seen by the US and Israel as terrorist groups.

Some analysts argue that the funding law, submitted to the majlis last August, is a reaction to western criticism over the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the crackdown on dissent.

However, Iran has for several years accused the US of trying to undermine the Islamic Republic by financing anti-regime radio and television broadcasts and Kurdish, Baluch and Arab insurgent organisations, which have carried out assassinations and staged bombings in ethnic minority areas.