U.S. to Allocate $900,000 for Persian Radio Service

April 18, 1998
WASHINGTON The U.S. Administration wants to increase Persian-language radio broadcasts to Iran but the service will not seek to undermine the government of President Mohammad Khatami, the State Department said Wednesday. The New York Times reported Wednesday that President Bill Clinton had decided to grant $900,000 to radio free Europe/radio liberty to set up a Persian-language radio service. The purpose of these broadcasts is not to beam anti-government propaganda into Iran, State Department Spokesman James Rubin said.

The State Department made clear its view that Voice of America, seen as having greater independence from the U.S. government, should take charge of the new broadcast service. We support increased Farsi-language broadcasting and our view is that the best way to do this is to have it done by the Voice of America and not by a surrogate broadcasting, Rubin said.

No one should misinterpret this as an attempt to undermine the Iranian government, Rubin said. The proposal does not in any way dilute the U.S. position in favor of a dialogue with Iran, he added. (AFP)