Ariane Tabatabaei, the Chief of Staff for the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations

Calls Grow To Revoke Iran-Linked Pentagon Official's Clearance

Sunday, 10/01/2023

Following the disclosure of an Iranian influence campaign, more US senators are demanding the revocation of the security clearance of a Pentagon official.

It seems the individual in question is Ariane Tabatabaei, who holds the position of Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, a high-ranking role with access to top-secret information.

In a recent statement, Senator Marsha Blackburn emphasized that “no individual affiliated with the Iranian regime should have access to sensitive information or influence over US foreign policy.”

She, along with several other Republican Senators, sent a letter to the Pentagon regarding the individual who possesses US security clearance and holds a senior position within the Department of Defense.

The development follows a report by Iran International and Semafor, which simultaneously exposed that several individuals closely linked to President Joe Biden's former Iran special envoy, Robert Malley, were part of an influence network established by Iran's foreign ministry.

Notably, at least three individuals listed by the Foreign Ministry were, or later became, key aides to Robert Malley, who was placed on leave this June following the suspension of his security clearance.

Meanwhile, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana confirmed that a letter, signed by numerous Republican Senators, has been sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling for the clearance to be revoked.

“Anyone with ties to the Iranian regime should not have a security clearance at the Department of Defense—that’s common sense,” he stressed.

The scandal has led to huge criticism being heaped on the Biden administration which has remained tight lipped on the matter while investigations into Malley continue, including under the FBI.

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