I wrote an extensive piece on the standard operating procedure of the U.S. government to support dissident groups and expatriate or exile communities opposed to foreign governments the U.S. looks unfavorably upon. The article focused on U.S. support for Iranian opposition groups, including for terrorist groups like the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), Kurdish groups, and Jundullah.
U.S. Today reports that the Obama administration is continuing U.S. grants for Iranian dissident groups:
The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents, records and interviews show, continuing a program that became controversial when it was expanded by President Bush.The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which reports to the secretary of state, has for the last year been soliciting applications for $20 million in grants to “promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran,” according to documents on the agency’s website.
The U.S. Government’s Iran programs are a long-term effort to strengthen independent voices in Iran and
expand ties between the people of Iran and the United States.
I reviewed some of the ways the U.S. promotes “democracy” in the above mentioned article. USAID provides support for Iranian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
One aim is to “facilitate a greater understanding of the rights of Iranian citizens to genuine elections”.
Another goal is to “provide greater access to multiple sources of information” such as by “Using new media creatively to engage youth”, “Training journalists”, and “Providing Iranians access to unbiased and/or unfiltered sources of information” (read “counter-propaganda).
As with the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID provides financial and other support and assistance to opposition groups. Those groups may then use that funding to support other groups in turn.