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Washington Seeks Extra Funds To Back Iranian Democracy

U.S. Secretary of State Rice with President George Bush (file photo) (AFP) 15 February 2006 - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has asked Congress for additional funds to support Washington's efforts to nurture democracy in Iran.

Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 15 February that the United States must support Iranians who are seeking freedom under what she called a "radical regime."

Rice said the U.S. government plans to request an extra $75 million, with some of that money being used to "improve our radio broadcasting, begin satellite television broadcasts, increase the contacts between our peoples through expanded fellowships and scholarships for Iranian students, and to [improve] our public diplomacy efforts."

Over the past two years, the State Department has invested more than $4 million into such initiatives. Washington will invest at least $10 million this budget year into such projects.

The $75 million is in addition money already approved by Congress.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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