The documents implicate key officials in an alleged clandestine scheme orchestrated by the Iranian Foreign Ministry to manipulate foreign policy decisions in favor of Iran, all while the Obama and Biden administrations negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. Notably, just last week, Biden himself came under fire for funneling $6 billion in unfrozen assets to Iran in exchange for the release of three American citizens.
It’s not very often that my jaw drops open while reading an article as it did with this @semafor piece.
There’s no two ways around this: top Obama and Biden officials were a part of a foreign influence operation by the Iranian regime, some of who are still in govt… https://t.co/75vfW1uQic
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) September 26, 2023
According to Semafor, the leaked emails specifically point to three individuals closely associated with Robert Malley, the embattled Iran envoy of the Biden administration. Pentagon official Ariane Tabatabai, think-tank adviser Dina Esfandiary and Ali Vaez, a protégé of Robert Malley, were reportedly active members of the contentious “Iran Experts Initiative (IEI).”
As revealed by the bombshell report, the IEI’s efforts were designed to “bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues.”
The allegations suggest that these individuals maintained continuous communications with the Iranian regime with the aim of safeguarding the regime’s interests. The findings triggered a handful of fiery criticisms against President Joe Biden, who is embroiled in a bribery scandal himself.
Morgan Ortagus, former Department of State spokesperson, expressed her astonishment on Twitter on Sept. 26. “There’s no two ways around this: top Obama and Biden officials were a part of a foreign influence operation by the Iranian regime, some of who are still in govt holding security clearances,” she remarked.
Her disbelief did not stop there, adding, “This comes on top of the news that Rob Malley, Biden’s Iran envoy, had to leave his position over his security clearance being revoked.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., demanded answers, highlighting concerns about the Biden administration’s approach to Iran. “Americans have rightly been asking why the Biden administration is so friendly with the Iranian regime, and why Biden administration officials have so single-mindedly enabled Iranian nuclear progress and terrorism,” a fired-up Cruz statement read
Leaks published today show that the Iranian regime ran an extensive influence operation. It included members who are now top Biden administration officials involved in Iran issues.
Meanwhile Team Biden is continuing to conduct secret Iran negotiations.
I am calling on those… pic.twitter.com/JdYQZLd8Om
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 26, 2023
“These reports and emails suggest a vast Iranian influence operation that goes to the very top of the administration,” he added.
Amid the controversy, the Pentagon defended its hiring of Tabataba in statements to the Washington Free Beacon. “Dr. Tabatabai was thoroughly and properly vetted as a condition of her employment with the Department of Defense,” a spokesman claimed. “We are honored to have her serve.”