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State Department Wants More Funds for Democracy Programs in Iran


The State Department says it will ask Congress for $75 million in additional funding this year to promote democracy in Iran.

Officials say the money would be used for radio and television broadcasts to Iran and exchange programs for Iranian students. They say Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to request the funds when she appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday.

Rice is expected to face questions from the panel on the Bush administration's policies on Iran, which is facing growing international pressure to abandon its controversial nuclear program.

Russian and French leaders Tuesday called on Tehran to stop all uranium enrichment. China urged more diplomatic efforts to ease growing tension over the program, which the West says is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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