Posted: 12 Feb 2010"[T]he tools of American public diplomacy should be deployed in the service of pro-democracy movements and regime change in Iran. Iranians desperately need independent, trustworthy information — such as provided by Radio Free Iran, the U.S. government’s surrogate broadcaster. Funding for its programs should be generously increased, particularly focused on radio as the medium as television is vulnerable due to the visibility of satellite dishes. Internet is clearly sensitive to government control and interference, as is cell phone serve, which makes them vulnerable. Yet in the age of new technology, total control remains extremely hard to maintain and the U.S. government should continue to work with Iranians abroad setting up pro-democracy websites." Helle Dale, The Foundry blog, Heritage Foundation, 11 February 2010. There is no "Radio Free Iran." Both VOA Persian News Network and RFE/RL's Radio Farda, as well as BBC Persian, provide the news about Iran that the Iranian media would if they were free. As such, they all serve a "surrogate" function. If VOA PNN and Radio Farda were "deployed in the service of pro-democracy movements," they really wouldn't be providing the news that their audiences are seeking. Other US government and US government funded entities can support pro-democracy movements in Iran, although association with the US government might not be helpful to those movements.
Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.