Shahin Gobadi NCRI
Shahin Gobadi of the NCRI has expressed fears over the lifting of sanctions on Iran NCRI

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has claimed that the money released by the relief of sanctions on the Islamic Republic will be used to 'pursue terrorism'. The comments from the NCRI come following the cancellation of sanctions over the weekend, with $100bn (£699bn) expected to be available to Iran as assets are unfrozen and oil output increases.

Shahin Gobadi, from the foreign affairs committee of the NCRI, said: "The money that is about to be released belongs to the Iranian people and is being put at the disposal of the usurping regime ruling Iran. This money will in no way be used to improve the dire economic situation of the Iranian people. Rather it will be used to pursue the regime's policies of suppression, export of fundamentalism and terrorism and warmongering in the region, particularly in Syria."

Iran's anticipated financial gain follows five years of sanctions that froze assets and cut its oil output to one million barrels per day which saw oil prices plunge below $29 on 18 January in anticipation of increased exports from Tehran.

"The major part of Iran's economy – more than 50% of its GDP – is controlled by 14 large entities, all of which are affiliated with the military and security apparatus and controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who dictates the regime's strategic policies," Gobadi said.

"Much of the released funds will end up in the coffers of these 14 economic entities under Khamenei's control. In most major transactions with Iran [investments, exports and imports], Western businesses will be dealing with these entities and contributing to the funds of the Revolutionary Guards [IRGC], including financial aid to Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria. The IRGC runs the majority of all of Iran's imports and exports."