White House-connected group paid NPR $100K to help push the Iran deal

Source: Washington Examiner | May 20, 2016 | T. Becket Adams

A key advocate of the Obama administration’s controversial Iran deal paid National Public Radio $100,000 in 2015 to cover the nuclear agreement, according to recent filings.

The Ploughshares Fund explained online in its annual report that the grant was to encourage, “national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and budgets, Iran’s nuclear program, international nuclear security topics and U.S. policy toward nuclear security.”

The group boasts that it played a key role in securing the Iran deal.

Though it’s not usual for outside groups to provide newsrooms with funding, Ploughshares’ donation to NPR raises several questions, according to the Associated Press.

“Outside groups of all stripes are increasingly giving money to news organizations for special projects or general news coverage,” the AP reported. “Ploughshares’ backing is more unusual, given its prominent role in the rancorous, partisan debate over the Iran deal.”

“Ploughshares has funded NPR’s coverage of national security since 2005, the radio network said. Ploughshares reports show at least $700,000 in funding over that time. All grant descriptions since 2010 specifically mention Iran,” the report added.

NPR hosted the group’s president, Joseph Cirincione, at least twice in 2015 to discuss the Iran deal.

The radio news group noted Ploughshares was a funder during one of his interviews, but didn’t disclose it during the other, the AP noted.

A spokeswoman defended NPR’s relationship with Ploughshares, and said Friday in a statement that there is no conflict of interest.


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