An article printed in the March 30 edition of the Financial Times implied that a 2005 workshop for Iranians arranged in part by ICNC was a “semi-covert” activity aimed at “getting crowds on the street” to overthrow the Iranian regime and was a step toward “covert political warfare,” as the article quoted a British academic as saying. All of this is untrue. That and all other workshops supported or arranged by ICNC furnish only generic knowledge about nonviolent strategies and action and do not advocate “regime change” or any other specific political goal. All such workshops are also conducted only in response to requests or interest by indigenous groups or individuals. Workshops in nonviolent action supported by ICNC have drawn the participation of people from over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and Europe, as well as the Middle East.
The article also reports that ICNC provided $100,000 to Freedom House in 2005, but did not report the purpose of this funding. In fact, it was to support research and publishing of a report entitled, “How Freedom Is Won: From Civic Resistance to Durable Democracy (PDF),” which is publicly available and has since been distributed globally, and to support that organization’s civic mobilization project, in order to obtain pedagogical lessons about transferring knowledge of nonviolent civic action.
Finally, the article left the impression that ICNC might receive funding from the U.S. government, since it stated that our chair, Peter Ackerman, “says that he does not accept government money,” as if that were only Mr. Ackerman’s claim. As our operating guidelines – posted elsewhere on this site -- have long stated, we have not accepted and will not accept any funds from any government, and financial information confirming this is publicly available through Guidestar.