International Republican Institute

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Group.png International Republican Institute  
(Regime change organizationPowerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
International republican institute.jpg
HeadquartersWashington DC, US
Sponsor ofInstitute for Strategic Dialogue, Albert Einstein Institution
SubpageInternational Republican Institute/Board and Staff
Has been tied to many covert plans to install US-favored governments. Will promote "free, fair, transparent democratic elections", but in such a way that it assures that power goes to the elites and not to the people.

The International Republican Institute (IRI) is one of the main components of the regime change organization National Endowment for Democracy (NED); that is, NED channels its funds through four organizations, and IRI is one of them. It


The International Republican Institute is closely connected to the sister organization National Democratic Institute, as subcontractors for the US government financed National Endowment for Democracy.

IRI also works closely with other United States foreign policy instruments, including the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development. The organization is almost exclusively funded by the U.S. government and related agencies. IRI, despite what its name suggests, is loosely affiliated with the Republican Party.

A 2004 article in the New Standard which contained analysis of the actions of the IRI and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), stated that whilst both these groups publicly assert that they are nonpartisan, they each have extremely close ties to their namesake American political party and are deeply partial to the perceived national interests of their home country[1] According to the report:

   'Both groups have highly controversial reputations and are described throughout much of the world as either helpful, meddlesome, or downright subversive, depending on who you ask. In some places their work has earned praise from independent grassroots democracy advocates, but in many Third World republics, both groups have been tied to alleged covert plans to install US-favored governments'.

Project Democracy

In 2005, reported an interview with former CIA officer Philip Agee[2] In the interview, Agee described some of the background of how he understood the purpose behind the establishment of agencies such as the IRI.

According to Agee, the CIA had in the past supported "brutal military dictatorships in all of the Cono Sur [Southern Cone]—Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and of course, in Chile with Pinochet". However a "process of new thinking began in the upper echelons of the makers of US foreign policy, the new thinking being that these military dictatorships, with all the repression and the disappearances and death squads and so forth, might not be the best way to preserve US interests in Latin America, or other areas for that matter". Agee goes on to state that the "new thinking was that the preservation of US interests could better be achieved through the election of democratic governments formed by political elites who identify with the political class in the United States". These were not the popular forces, but the traditional political classes in Latin America, such as the ‘Oligarchies.’ Agee continues by saying "So the new American program, which became known as “Project Democracy,” was adopted and United States policy would seek to promote free, fair, transparent democratic elections but in such a way that it would assure that power went to the elites and not to the people".

To work towards the aims of Project Democracy, Agee reports that the “American Political Foundation” was established in 1979. This foundation was set up with major participation from the main labor center in the United States the AFL-CIO, with the United States Chamber of Commerce and with the Democratic and Republican parties. The four main organizations and the financing for this foundation came both from the government and from private sources. Their job is described as being to study how the United States could best apply this new thinking in promoting democracy and the solution is reported to have been the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its four associated foundations: the International Republican Institute (IRI) of the Republican Party, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of the Democratic Party, the American Center of International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) of the AFL-CIO, and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) of the United States Chamber of Commerce. According to Agee, "where the AFL-CIO foundation is concerned, they took an existing organization which had worked hand-in-glove with the CIA for many years called the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and simply changed the name".


The IRI Board of Directors and Personnel includes major Republican foreign policy voices, and other prominent Republicans.

Full article: International Republican Institute/Board and Staff

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