Iran and the US: Washington Calling

For the first time since the Iranian revolution of 1979, the United States Congress, in tandem with President George Bush’s White House, plans to openly spend government funds in Iran to promote democratic ideals. Tehran has indicated that it will take Washington to the International Court of Justice for a breach of international law and norms. But can limited US funding have a greater impact than open confrontation on the political alignment of the Islamic Republic?

The World Today Updated 15 October 2020 Published 1 June 2005 4 minute READ

Alex Vatanka

Director, Iran Program, Middle East Institute

In his State of the Union speech in February, President George Bush told the Iranian nation, ‘as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you’. The tone signalled a new and more sympathetic approach towards the Iranian people. The President made a clearer distinction between the ‘Iranian people’ and the ‘Iranian regime’, did not repeat the controversial ‘axis of evil’ phrase, and tried to reach out to the public over the heads of their government.

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