Monitoring Human Rights In Iran

The US cuts funding for the Bush administration program to help fund the Iranian opposition. Bad news, right? Not according to the dissidents:

Critics like Iranian dissident and journalist Akbar Ganji have maintained that the program made virtually all Iranian NGOs targets of the hardline government in Iran: "The US democracy fund was severely counterproductive. None of the human right activists and members of opposition in Iran had any interest in using such funds, but we were all accused by Iran's government of being American spies because a few groups in America used these funds." The secretiveness around the program - the recipients of the funds remain classified - has added to the dilemma, Iranian human rights groups maintain. They say it has enabled the Iranian authorities to accuse any Iranian NGO of having received funds from the US government.