The National Endowment For Democracy And Iran.

May 23, 2007 at 8:20 am (National Endowment For Democracy)

The US government is going on an offensive against Iran, while this is not a hot war, no doubt – the Bush regime has escalated its anti-Iran propaganda, and is also intent on using the facade of “democracy” “human rights” etc. to create an anti-Iran atmosphere. The aim of this propaganda is an attempt to destroy the Islamic Republic, and create a “democracy” that would be subservient to the US, and its cronies.

In a recent statement the Iranian government stated the following:

“The truth of the matter is that those bodies are under the umbrella of such titles as democracy, human rights, and are playing the role that their intelligence and information services used to play against countries in question in the past.

the National Endowment for Democracy Foundation, relying on the cooperation of other US foundations, theoretized the model of East Europe’s collapse, matched it with the situation in Iran, and tried to pursue it as a project.

some of those foundations send invitations to Iranian thinkers to give lectures, participate at seminars, or to present research projects, allocating budgets to such activities trying to choose active partners in our country and link them to the decision maker circles and organization in the United States.

for more on the NED, and how it relates to Iran, see this link:

Recent and ongoing events should be understood in the following context:

The strength of this new democratic strategy lies in its unique public relations value, which allows those who wield it to cloak their free-market agendas in the powerful rhetoric of human rights and humanitarianism. Ironically, the democracy idea was first picked up with gusto in the early 1980s, when President Reagan (with bipartisan support) created the quasi-nongovernmental organisation, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Needless to say, the Reaganites newly defined democracy quickly debased democracy as commonly understood by the American populous: a not wholly unexpected development from a government reliant upon covert propaganda for implementing their deeply regressive domestic politics.

Either way, war or no war, it is urgent that progressive activists understand, expose, and criticize the insidious nature of the mechanisations of all would-be democracy promoters. In this respect, this article will only examine the role of the most prominent US-based democracy promoting organisation, the NED. However, it should be noted that the promotion of democracy is a global phenomena, whose very legitimacy relies upon the support from a multitude of international actors. [4]

The NED Goes to Iran

The 2005 Iranian election was met with worldwide approval. [5] It was, it seemed, a signal to the rest of the world that Iran was preparing itself for a more western style of democratic governance. But, despite the apparent legitimacy of the elections, it became evident in February 2006 that the US administration was now in Iranian democracy promoting mode. It was then that Condoleezza Rice first announced she was requesting $85 million from Congress for the newly formed Office of Iranian Affairs.

Their democratic rhetoric seems to have worked its wonders and allowed the NED to completely slip under the radar of the world’s media. In fact, even before the advent of the Iran Freedom and Support Act the NED had been openly meddling in Iranian affairs. According to the NED’s online project database five Iranian groups received NED aid prior to 2004: the Iran Teachers Association, the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, the National Iranian American Council, the Women’s Learning Partnership, and the Abdorrahaman Boroumand Foundation. [7] Therefore, in a bid to understand what US-led democracy will mean for Iran, the activities of each of these organisations will now be examined in turn.

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