Monday, July 11, 2005

Junior State Department official and Kerry partisan blocks Iran democracy funds

A junior member of the State Department's Policy Planning staff - known as a political partisan who wanted to serve in a John Kerry presidential administration - is blocking the expenditure of $3 million to promote pro-Western democratic forces in Iran.

That's what our sources tell us, saying that even though the rest of the State Department has given approval to spend the funds in support of President Bush's policy, the junior Policy Planning staffer is blocking the expenditure.

State Department policies must have consensus approval from all relevant offices, so even a junior official in the right position has the power to hold up a presidential agenda.

That individual is Suzanne Maloney, the Iran advisor on the Policy Planning staff.

A Council on Foreign Relations fellow, Maloney is a Middle East policy advisor for ExxonMobil.

According to our source, "She deferred her fellowship by a year in the hope that she could serve in a Kerry administration."

Maloney was the project manager for the CFR's Iran: Time for a New Approach report.

She got the job, we are told, not for partisan reasons but because Policy Planning "could avoid paperwork" by hiring a CFR fellow.

Friends of the democratic opposition in Iran are urging Policy Planning Director Stephen Krasner to reassign Maloney to a less sensitive portfolio, and to offer the Iran policy slot to a staff member who supports the president's policies.


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