US representative Brian Mast (R-FL)

US Congressman Urges Transparency Regarding Iran Envoy Malley

Thursday, 11/09/2023

Brian Mast, a Republican member of the US Congress, called for transparency regarding the case of Robert Malley, the suspended US special envoy for Iran.

In an interview with One America News Network, Mast criticized the US government for not shedding light on the events that led to Malley’s suspension, noting that he was “quietly” removed from his position earlier this year.

Iran International broke the news in late June that Malley’s security clearance had been revoked and he was no longer acting as US envoy, but the State Department has remained tight-lipped about the details of the case. Critics of the administration and US lawmakers have demanded answers, but so far the administration has refused to provide details.

Mast stressed that the US government did not notify the Congress about revoking Malley’s security clearance, adding that the affair was discovered “by accident.”

He called Malley “an Iranian sympathizer working to be soft on Iran” and pointed that Malley championed Washington’s adoption of “soft policies” towards a state which urges the destruction of the United States and Israel.

Robert Malley, the former Special Envoy for Iran, during a meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria on 7 April 2021

The congressman also referred to the case of Ariane Tabatabai, a former associate of Malley and the current Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense, who has had close ties with the Iranian regime.

Tabatabai was alleged to be part of a network that tried “to gain influence to top US diplomats and convince them to be soft on Iran,” Mast went on to say.

Iran International’s exposé, Inside Tehran’s Soft War: How Iran Gained Influence in US Policy Centers, and its twin report by Semafor, Inside Iran’s Influence Operation, prove the existence of the “Iran Experts Network”, whereby members acted as agent provocateurs of the regime.

Mast pointed out that according to the information revealed, Tabatabai “was directly reporting to the Iranian foreign ministry.”

He added that in order to obtain a security clearance, one is needed to disclose all their ties with foreign countries.

There is still no information whether Tabatabai has informed the authorities about her interactions with the Iranian government, Mast stated.

He further called Iran’s influence campaign “a serious problem” and urged the Biden administration to address it with transparency.

Mast, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also accused Tehran of having a hand in Hamas October 7 deadly attack on Israel, which claimed the lives of 1,400 mostly civilians and left thousands injured in the single most deadly day for Jews since the Holocaust.

Mast’s remarks came four weeks after top US Republicans at the Senate and the House opened dual probes into Malley's links to the secret Iranian influence network.

At the same time, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) also raised concerns about the Administration’s use of officials with sympathetic ties to the Iranian regime to negotiate with Tehran.

Also on October 24, America First Legal, a group of conservative lawyers, announced that it had launched a probe into the activities of a pro-Iran influence network in the United States which can pose a threat to the American national security.

"It is of paramount importance that the truth about the role that Iranian assets may have played, and may continue to be playing, in formulating US policy be brought to light," said Reed Rubinstein, the group’s senior counselor.

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