In FY 2006, Congress appropriated no less than $6.55 million (PL 109-102) for Iran and Syria from Democracy Funds (DF) and requested that at least $10 million be spent by the Department on democracy and human rights programs in Iran overall.
Additionally, the Secretary requested $75 million in the FY 2006 Emergency Supplemental for Iran. Congress only appropriated $66.1 million, allocated as follows (PL 109-234):
- $36.1 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG);
- – $10.274 million in International Broadcasting Operations;
- – $25.826 million in Broadcasting Capital Improvements.
- $20 million for democracy programs in Iran through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs;
- $5 million for Internet and other interactive programming through the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP);
- $5 million for education and cultural exchanges through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
To date, the Department has obligated approximately $16.05 million for Iran democracy programs from our FY06 regular and supplemental budgets – $11.9 million through MEPI and $4.15 million through the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). Current programs assist those inside Iran who desire basic civil liberties such as freedom of expression, greater rights for women, a more transparent political process, and broader freedom of the press.
Additionally, $1.77 million has been obligated through the Bureau of International Information Programs, and $2.22 million through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs from the FY 2006 regular and supplemental budgets.
For specific information regarding expenditures by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, please contact the BBG, which has statutory responsibility for overseas broadcasting programs and activities to the Iranian people through Radio Farda, Voice of America-Persian, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Current funding supports programs that assist those inside Iran who desire basic civil liberties such as freedom of expression, greater rights for women, more open political process, and broader freedom of the press.
The FY 2008 request includes $75 million for Economic Support Funds (ESF) to be spent on democracy promotion projects in Iran. It is part of the President’s $108.71 million FY 2008 request for Iran that also includes $28.21 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Voice of America – Persian and Radio Farda programs and $5.5 million in Diplomatic and Consular Program (D&CP) funds. Congress has not yet approved this FY 2008 budget request.