The United States says it is trying to promote democracy in Iran by budgeting 3 million dollars for groups there that are willing to work toward that goal. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said today nongovernmental educational and other groups inside Iran are eligible to compete for the money. He said humanitarian groups also may compete. Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called the plan a violation of a 1981 U.S.-Iranian agreement. The accord freed the 52 U.S. Embassy employees who were held hostage in Tehran for 444 days. Boucher denied that the initiative violates the agreement.