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Cablegate: Iran Small Grants Program

VZCZCXRO0346
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHC #3385/01 0921715
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 011708Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5531
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 2666
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 7094
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY 6239
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 3088
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 2627
RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA PRIORITY 7353
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 9704
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5255
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA PRIORITY 9139
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 3139
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 3304
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 6074
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA PRIORITY 4292
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 6794
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 5646
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 7940
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE PRIORITY 7810
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 4339
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5547
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 4844
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 7179
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 1613
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN PRIORITY 5254
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 1804
RUEHDIR/IRAN RPO DUBAI PRIORITY 0074
INFO IRAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 033385

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ABUD AFIN AMGT ECON IR KDEM KPAO PREL
SUBJECT: IRAN SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

REF: 07 STATE 83945

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Department announces the availability
of funds for programs to support civil society, human rights,
and rule of law in Iran. The Iran small grants program is an
opportunity for posts to strengthen their contacts with the
Iranian diaspora and advance the U.S. goal of supporting
democratic reform in Iran. Interested posts should encourage
appropriate local NGOs and other organizations to submit
proposals that fit within the parameters described below.
Deadline for the first round grant applications is April 11;
deadline for the second round is July 18. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------------
SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM ) WHAT IT IS
---------------------------------

2. (SBU) The Office of Iranian Affairs (NEA/IR) has funds
available for small grants at addressee posts to support
civil society, human rights, and rule of law in Iran. The
small grants program is designed to support programs that:

-- strengthen the capacity of Iranian civil society
organizations;

-- promote human rights, labor rights, and personal freedoms
for Iranians;

-- expose members of Iranian society, particularly Iranian
youth, to democratic ideas and processes;

-- increase public awareness and involvement in current
political issues, including voter education and building
advocacy skills among individuals and groups;

-- promote freedom of information, including unrestricted
access to the Internet;

-- encourage women and minorities, participation in public
life;

-- promote transparency and anti-corruption;

-- promote the rule of law and legal and judicial reforms;

-- encourage education and awareness of international
economic practices.

3. (SBU) Broader cultural or academic activities can be
considered for funding as long as they have an element
related to civil society, human rights, or rule of law. An
example would be an academic conference on Iran and host
country relations that would also address academic standards.
Short-term student exchanges administered through private or
public universities dealing with cross-cultural or
interdisciplinary topics in the social sciences would also be
appropriate.


STATE 00033385 002 OF 003


4. (SBU) Successful existing programs address issues related
to democratic reform in a phased, low-profile manner, and
build on organizations, existing ties in Iran. For example,
a successful conference on human rights addressed family law
reform in a comparative Islamic context. Another successful
conference on women,s rights invited women from across the
region to talk about their common experiences. Programs that
connect Iranian NGOs, including social, health, and
environmental NGOs, to their counterparts outside the country
are welcome.

----------------------------------------
POSTS, AND DEPARTMENT,S RESPONSIBILITIES
----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) While the Department encourages posts to
participate, this is a voluntary program that posts should
consider as a resource. Posts may either reach out to
specific NGOs or universities and encourage them to submit
applications, or have them submit applications on an ad hoc
basis. Posts will be the point of contact for potential award
recipients and should work with them to develop proposals.
NEA/IR developed small grants with political officers at
selected posts, but grants are managed in coordination with
posts, public affairs section. Post liaison officers should
contact NEA/IR (see para 12) for guidance.

6. (SBU) Post should ensure applications meet the criteria
for consideration before forwarding them to NEA. Upon
favorable review, post should send any application
recommended for funding by cable and email for NEA review and
final approval. NEA staff will ensure no duplication of
existing programs, compliance with USG policy, and offer
final approval within three weeks of each deadline. For the
purposes of Congressional and intergovernmental (OFAC
licensing) requirements and reporting, NEA/IR retains final
authority over the award of funds. Once the Department has
approved a grant application, NEA/IR will provide a standard
terms and conditions document that can be adapted for
individual grantees.

7. (SBU) Post PAOs, CAOs, or grant officers will sign these
grants. NEA will provide posts with award fund cites as soon
as possible. Posts must develop a statement of work with the
grantee that will become part of the grant agreement once the
Department approves the award. Awardees may have up to two
years to expend funds. Department defers to post discretion
on informing host country government officials of USG funding
of Iran-related activities in-country.

------------------
PROGRAM GUIDELINES
------------------

8. (SBU) NEA will allocate $500,000 to fund approved projects
by local and third country NGOs that address the above-noted
priorities. Posts should contact NEA/IR for a copy of the
grant application form and detailed instructions for
potential grantees.

9. (SBU) In general, grants should fund discrete events such
as conferences or one-off training seminars. Organizations
with ideas for programs with long timelines should apply
directly to NEA/IR for funds. Individual awards may vary from
$5,000 up to $100,000. Any organization interested in a
larger grant should apply directly to NEA/IR.

STATE 00033385 003 OF 003

10. (SBU) While this program is not classified, we encourage
limiting discussion of the program to potential grantees and
host governments, rather than advertising via the local
media.

--------
DEADLINE
--------

11. (SBU) Posts should forward recommended proposals to NEA
no later than the designated dates for submission: the first
deadline is April 11 and the second is July 18. The first
deadline is meant for posts with projects pending approval
that did not receive FY 2006 funding. The second deadline is
for posts interested in developing new projects.

-----------------
POINTS OF CONTACT
-----------------

12. (U) Please contact Shervin Hadjilou at
HadjilouS@state.gov or Carolyn Coberly at coberlych@state.gov
for any questions concerning the small grants or Iran
democracy program.
RICE

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