Iran will use sanctions relief to continue its aggression in the region and support for terrorist groups
But there are serious problems with these assumptions. Start with the impact of sanctions relief. There is as yet little to suggest that the Iranian regime intends to spend the resulting windfall on making life better for ordinary citizens. This is, let us remind ourselves, a government that has long deprived its people while fattening those closest to the regime, like the Revolutionary Guard. It is a safe bet that corrupt officials and generals will take the largest share of any windfall.
A great deal of the fresh money will also go to expanding Iran’s ambitions in its neighborhood. Proxy groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Gaza’s Hamas and Yemen’s Houthis will all receive larger injections of money and weapons, with which to further destabilize their countries. Syria’s Bashar Assad, Iran’s preferred Shia dictator, will also be needing more support as he is squeezed between ISIL and a resurgent Nusra Front. Expect more Iranian money to flow into Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Shia minorities face Sunni persecution.
If there’s money left over, some of it will go to buying the Revolutionary Guards a new arsenal of conventional weapons, to make up for long years of neglect because of the sanctions. That might work out very nicely for European, Russian and Chinese arms manufacturers, but not great for ordinary Iranians.
Iran's regime is dedicated to spreading its revolutionary ideology and has a well-established network of terrorist proxies that it funds. If the nuclear deal is completed without addressing Iran's aggressive foreign policy, then it will only add fuel to this fire by giving Iran access to over $100 billion in sanctions relief as well as billions of dollars more in potential foreign direct investment and trade.