Iran spending $24.5 million per day to crush dissent in the country

Protests have affected over 100 cities since November, with security forces using violent measures against the demonstrators, including lethal force.

People walk near a burnt bank, after protests against increased fuel prices, in Iran (photo credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)
People walk near a burnt bank, after protests against increased fuel prices, in Iran
(photo credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)
As Iran suppressed protests that spread throughout the country, Radio Farda reported that the Islamic Republic has been spending $24.5 million per day to crush dissent and suppress protests throughout the year.
Protests affected over 100 cities since November, with security forces using violent measures against the demonstrators, including lethal force. 
According to the report, Iran has spent $9 billion on various sectors of the security service this fiscal year, which includes the intelligence ministry, police, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and paramilitary Basij, the latter often used to crush popular dissent.                          
The report also detailed the recent growth of the Iranian security forces budget, rising from $3.1 billion since the start of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency in 2013, to $5.7 billion by the sixth year of his term.
The $9 billion budget this year comes amid a deepening economic crisis in the country, combined with a marked decline in Iran’s oil exports of 213,000 barrels per day.
The real figures may be even higher than the ‘official’ budgetary report, since Iran does not disclose its entire budget on security matters.
Besides Iran’s increase in the defense and security sectors, it has also decreased funding of education, welfare and other government services, leading to serious budget deficits.
After days of protests across Iran in November, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered security and government officials to "Do whatever it takes to end it."
"The Islamic Republic is in danger. Do whatever it takes to end it. You have my order," said Khamenei, as he raised his voice and criticised handling of the unrest on November 17. Khamenei said he would hold the assembled officials responsible for the consequences of the protests if they didn’t immediately stop them.
About 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on November 15, according to three Iranian interior ministry officials.
A spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council described the death toll figure as “fake news,” according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Reuters contributed to this report.