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Pompeo: Iranian leaders are using an illegal $95 billion ‘hedge fund’ to sponsor terrorism, personal gain

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks on "Supporting Iranian Voices” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, California on July 22, 2018. (State Department/Flickr)
July 23, 2018

The Iranian government was the center of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s heavy criticisms at a speech made on Sunday.

During a speech to an event titled “Supporting Iranian Voices,” Pompeo accused Iranian leaders of sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East and reaping financial rewards at the expense of the Iranian people, CNN reported.

Pompeo said: “The Ayatollah Khamenei has his own personal, off-the-books hedge fund called the Setad, worth $95 billion, with a B. That wealth is untaxed, it is ill-gotten, and it is used as a slush fund for the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] IRGC. The ayatollah fills his coffers by devouring whatever he wants.”

The IRGC is a branch of Iran’s armed forces tasked with maintaining order domestically, and addressing both internal and external threats. However, they’ve been conditioned to model the same radical ideologies of the government leaders, resulting in support for terrorists abroad, as well as violent police tactics against political opponents and citizens.

Pompeo went on to describe other corrupt acts of Iranian leaders, such as “seizing land from religious minorities and political rivals,” embezzling government funds into personal accounts, along with subsidies and other government deals to provide them with direct personal benefit.

“The ideologues who forcibly came to power in 1979 and remain in power today are driven by a desire to conform all of Iranian society to the tenants of the Islamic Revolution. The regime is also committed to spreading the Revolution to other countries, by force if necessary,” he said.

His speech took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Many dislocated Iranians reside in the southern California area, having fled from Iran after the rise of the corrupted ayatollah leadership.

“Judging by their vast wealth, [the ayatollahs] seem more concerned with riches than religion. These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on Earth while their people suffer,” Pompeo said.

He pointed out multiple Iranian leaders by name who have amassed millions in personal wealth after using their government position to their own advantage.

“To the regime, prosperity, security and freedom for the Iranian people are acceptable casualties in the march to fulfill the Revolution,” he said.

Pompeo called on nations to join the Trump Administration’s “diplomatic and financial pressure campaign to cut off the funds that the regime uses to enrich itself and support death and destruction.”