Iran General NewsUS must promote Iranians' right to democracy: Rice

US must promote Iranians’ right to democracy: Rice

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AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended Tuesday a 75-million-dollar budget measure to promote democracy in Iran, saying the United States must speak out about the plight of Iranians. WASHINGTON, April 4, 2006 (AFP) – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended Tuesday a 75-million-dollar budget measure to promote democracy in Iran, saying the United States must speak out about the plight of Iranians.

“I don’t think speaking softly about the democracy problem in Iran is really the appropriate course,” Rice testified before a House of Representatives committee in defense of the US administration’s 2007 budget proposal.

“I think we do have to be very public about it,” she said.

Rice was responding to a lawmaker who expressed concern that the American radio and television programming project in Iran’s Farsi language could be interpreted there as a disinformation campaign.

“One thing we hear from people who go frequently to Iran and from others is that Iranians want to hear the United States speak about their plight,” Rice said.

“They want to hear that we really believe that they deserve democracy.”

The US administration asked Congress in February for 75 million dollars to fund a democracy campaign in Iran that notably would develop Farsi-language radio and television programming along the lines of the government-funded Radio Free Europe and Voice of America during the Cold War.

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