Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Iran has spent nearly $25 million per day on various government sectors to suppress dissent with since protests began in November over a hike in fuel prices, Radio Farda first reported.
The protests started in mid-November over a tripling of gasoline prices and rationing, but also included an outcry against government corruption and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Hundreds of people were killed between Nov. 15 and 18, as the government cracked down on protests. The government shut down phone lines and Internet access, but videos emerged showing soldiers shooting unarmed civilians, France 24 reported.
Iran has spent $ 9 billion in the current fiscal year, on four service sectors that act as a "suppression machine" by carrying out "violent suppression," against the anti-government movement and demonstrations, including The Intelligence Ministry, The Police, the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij militia, Radio Farda reported.
The $9 billion budget comes amid economic crisis since the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year, calling it "defective at its core."
The report also said that Iran's security forces budget has grown from $3.1 billion at the start of Hassan Rouhani's presidency in 2013, to more than $5.7 billion by his sixth year in office.
Meanwhile, education, welfare and other government services sectors have suffered recent budget deficits.