After the Crackdown: The Iran Democracy Fund
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy / Scott Carpenter
08-Sep-2009 (3 comments)

Nearly three months have passed since Iran's bloody crackdown on the mass protests over the controversial June 12 presidential election. The Obama administration, however, has yet to determine a strategy to support the first serious challenge to the regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Last week's statement by Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- that he saw no proof the British or the West were behind the protests -- should encourage the United States to pursue a more assertive approach to support Iranians working for change. Nevertheless, the State Department's Iran Democracy Fund -- currently the only tool available for promoting democracy in Iran -- has been extremely cautious in its funding decisions since President Barack Obama's inauguration. Moreover, recent changes to the program are neutralizing its effectiveness, even as arrests and prosecutions of those accused of plotting "velvet revolutions" continue throughout the country.


The Iran Democracy Fund, launched by the Bush administration in 2006, has been controversial from the beginning, and has faced myriad crosscutting pressures that have nearly succeeded in shutting the program down. In a surprise move by the Bush administration, the fund was awarded $75 million through a supplemental budget request for Iraq and Afghanistan for the 2006 fiscal year. According to then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, the funds would be used to "reach Iranian... >>>

Majid Zahrai

Stay away from Iran and keep your money, please...

by Majid Zahrai on

This was an assinine idea to begin with.  Just news of this money has sent so many innocent people to jail and torture, serving as justification for paranoia and accusations against Iranians who care about Iran.

Iranians don't need any money from the US or any other country to find their democracy.  They need to be left alone to figure things out for themselves for a lasting change.  The US should give the money to build infrastructural elements in the starving African nations.  Eliminating poverty is a very good way to democracy.

Stay away from Iran and Iranians.


Louie Louie

What difference does it make?

by Louie Louie on

Have you forgotten the show trials? whether there is this money or not they’re going to label one as a spy anyway.


tough call

by shushtari on

of course no one wants to be labeled as an 'american stooge' for accepting funds from the us.....BUT,

and this is a big BUT, without outside help, I find it very difficult to see how the brave people of iran can topple the akhoonds.

surely, khomeini the butcher, had all the help fromt he bbc, and the french, and the biggest moron of all, carter, to trick the people into thinking he was a saint LOL!

the mullahs are 1000 times more brutal than the shah, and they won't stop at anything to keep the bloody grip on iran....


it is very sad that the idiotic liberals and their wet-behind-the-ears leader, obama, will likely bend over to appease the mullahs at all costs....just like carter

javid iran