United States Policy on Democratizing Iran: Effects and Consequences

26 januari, 2011

This article will analyze U.S. policy at Iran, both covert and overt, aimed at altering this balance of power in Iran. Speculations about U.S. influence on contemporary Iranian politics are abundant and well founded.This contribution aims at moving beyond such speculation by addressing the actual content of U.S. policy on this issue is and considering what its effects are.

Under the Bush administration, Congress allegedly agreed to a request by the president ‘to fund a major escalation of covert operations in Iran, according to current and former military intelligence, and congressional sources. The operations were to be paid by a $400 million fund and focused on trying to undermine the government to regime change and undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Activities, besides the alleged recurrent cross border commando raids into Iran from southern Iraq, mainly involve support for ethnic separatist groups like the Ahwazi Arab, Baluchi and other dissident organizations. Several armed attacks on Iranian security forces by Jundallah, bombings carried out in the oil-rich south-west regions by separatist Arab movements, and more recent bombings attributed to the radical monarchist group, are being linked to the $400 million program, though such allegations are impossible to prove. Besides supporting separatists, a report in Le Monde Diplomatique revealed that millions of U.S. dollars are covertly administered to NGO human rights activists in Iran. These revelations are confirmed by former U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns.

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