DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> PELICANPOST.BLOGSPOT.COM: U.S. State Department has new Office of Iran Affairs to influence Iran & lead the Farsi-speaking media effort that will reach the Iranian people....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

U.S. State Department has new Office of Iran Affairs to influence Iran & lead the Farsi-speaking media effort that will reach the Iranian people....

Readers, here is some exciting news about the U.S. State Department's special new office set up just to deal with Iran. It will focus on GWB's new focus on promoting democracy in the extremist Islamic country of Iran.

This is a big deal, and it will be especially interesting to find out who will be appointed to lead the Farsi-speaking media effort (both TV and radio), who will get to control the budget for administering the new Office of Iran Affairs and its programs, and what all the new office is set up to accomplish.

Read more below and at news.ft.
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"New US focus on promoting democracy in Iran"

"The US State Department has created an office dedicated to Iran to reflect the Bush administration’s new focus on promoting democracy in the Islamic republic, officials said on Thursday.

Establishment of the Office of Iran Affairs follows the request to Congress made by Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, last month for an additional $75m this year to spend on influencing democratic change in Iran. The proposed spending has already triggered an internal struggle over who will control the $50m designated for a new Farsi-language television station.

The new office will come with posts in Europe and Dubai for Farsi-speaking diplomats as well as extra personnel in Washington working on human rights and public diplomacy.... Only a few countries merit their own office within the state department....

David Denehy, a special advisor on the Middle East.... is involved in the $50m project to create the first 24-hour Farsi television station to broadcast into Iran. Elizabeth Cheney, who is leading the state department’s “broader Middle East and North Africa initiatives”, has been placed in charge of the television project....

Officials told the FT there was a debate within the state department over whether the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency, should be given responsibility for the proposed new television station....

The officials said Ms Cheney wanted the new Farsi station to be kept separate from the BBG so that she could exert more direct control. Ms Cheney is said to be among those who were not satisfied with the oversight role played by the BBG regarding alHurra, the Arabic-language television station which is now the subject of state department and congressional inquiries into its programming and spending....

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