Friday, July 06, 2007

Senate Foreign Ops Bill

Below is the Senate Foreign Operations Bill Conference Report language on Iran for FY 2008 appropriations. The Committee only appropriated $25,000,000 of the administration request of $75,000,000 for democracy assistance in Iran. It also includes language regarding identifying grantees. This language was not included in the House version of the bill, which appropriated $50,000,000 to democracy assistance.

"Iran – The Committee supports the goals of promoting democracy in Iran, but received a total of only one page of justification material for the request of $75,000,000 for this program. The Department of State has also declined the Congress’ requests to publicly identify grantees under this program. The Committee is particularly concerned that grantees who receive U.S. assistance have been harassed and arrested by the Government of Iran for their pro-democracy programs in Iran, and recommends the administration seek future funding for these activities under a different appropriations function. The Committee also provides $22,287,000 for broadcasting, including Radio Farda, to Iran by VOA and RFE/RL in title I of the act."

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