President Bush secretly authorized the CIA to undertake black operations against Iran in an effort to topple the Iranian government. The Black Ops include a U.S. propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize the government, and disrupting the Iranian economy by manipulating the country's currency and its international financial transactions. The United States began to target Iran and several other Muslim countries for regime change starting at least in 2001. The book War and Decision written by Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Douglas Feith quotes a high level government policy memorandum written after September 11, 2001, stating that the United States should "[c]apitalize on our strong suit, which is not finding a few hundred terrorists in caves in Afghanistan, but in the vastness of our military and humanitarian resources, which can strengthen the opposition forces in terrorist-supporting states." The memorandum outlined a list of military actions to be undertaken against some of these states. Undersecretary Feith and Gen. Wesley Clark confirmed that Iran is on this list.
An article in the New York Times in 2005 said that the Bush administration was expanding efforts to influence Iran's internal politics with aid for opposition and pro-democracy groups abroad and longer broadcasts criticizing the Iranian government. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns said the administration was "taking a page from the playbook" on Ukraine and Georgia. Un-named administration officials were reported as saying the State Department was also studying dozens of proposals for spending $3 million in the coming year "for the benefit of Iranians living inside Iran" including broadcast activities, Internet programs and "working with people inside Iran" on advancing political activities there.
In 2006, the United States congress passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act which directed $10 million towards groups opposed to the Iranian Government. In 2007, ABC news reported that U.S. president George W. Bush had authorized a $400 million CIA covert operation to destabilize Iran.