Repressive regimes including Algeria, Kuwait and Qatar, which donated tens of millions to the Clinton Foundation, were given State Department Clearance to buy caches of US-made weapons during Hilary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, an IBTimes investigation revealed.

Under the Obama administration, $300bn (£195bn) worth of weapons sales were approved to 20 countries which were or have since become Clinton Foundation donors, the investigation found - among them regimes criticised by the State Department for human rights abuses.

"The State Department formally approved ... arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department," write David Sirota and Andrew Perez in their report.

"Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents."

This resulted in a 143% increase in completed sales to donor nations than over the same time frame during the administration of former President George W Bush.

Hilary Clinton served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, and earlier this year announced her candidacy for the 2016 US Presidential election. Clinton runs the Foundation alongside her husband, former US President Bill Clinton.

Under a US federal law loophole, though foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy US-made weapons are barred from making campaign contributions, donations to not-for-profit organisations run by officials are permitted.

The investigation also found that Boeing, Lockheed, and Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton speaking fees at around the same time as arms deals in which they had an interest were approved by Hilary Clinton's State Department.