Recent reporting reveals Americans employed by the departments of State and Defense are working on behalf of Iran. Even more troubling is that, in one case, the suspected friend of Iran still has a high position in a Pentagon office managing America’s most sensitive military special operations.
Iran Influence Peddling at High Levels
Over at State, evidence mounts the person supposedly working in the interest of the United States was more cordial to Iran’s geopolitical needs. Liberty Nation raised the alarm in an article published in early September — “Is Someone at the State Department Working for Iran?” It explained:
“In a very troubling press release from the office of the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the possibility someone in [President Joe] Biden’s Department of State could be leaking information to Iran came to light. If true, is anyone surprised? Very little about the president’s administration instills confidence in competence. This latest revelation is more evidence that the folks at Foggy Bottom do not have the interests of the American people at the top of their worry list.”
The article reported on Dr. Robert Malley, Biden’s special envoy to Iran, who had his top-secret security clearance temporarily revoked and was suspended during a follow-on investigation. Malley’s claim to fame was his leadership role in the International Crisis Group (ICG), an organization that assisted the Iranian leadership in its worldwide influence peddling, according to recent media reports. When State Department spokesman Mathew Miller, in an Oct. 2 press briefing, was asked about Malley’s suspension and accounts of a broader Iranian information operation, he answered: “I do not have any reason to believe an Iranian influence operation infiltrated the United States Government. However, as it relates to Rob Malley, that remains an ongoing investigation.” Miller’s attempt to downplay Malley’s behavior was not reassuring.
Now we learn that “Malley had helped to infiltrate an Iranian agent of influence named Ariane Tabatabai into some of the most sensitive positions in the US government — first at the State Department and now the Pentagon,” according to reporter Lee Smith in his article “High-Level Iranian Spy Ring Busted in Washington” published in Tablet. The sensitive position is chief of staff in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)). To give you a sense of the policy developed and promulgated by ASD(SO/LIC), quoting from the organization’s web page: ” … advocates for Special Operations and Irregular Warfare throughout the Department of Defense to ensure these capabilities are resourced, ready, and properly employed in accordance with the National Security Strategy.”
What better credentials for a person supporting US special operations worldwide, especially in the Middle East, than a suspected advocate for Iran? Sitting just outside the ASD(SO/LIC) office, the chief of staff has immediate access to and knowledge of highly classified US Special Operations Command contingency and operational plans. What was the Biden administration thinking in awarding a Top Secret, Special Compartmented Information clearance (TS/SCI) to someone like Tabatabai with her alleged Iran promotional ties?
Iran Connection With Pentagon Official Scary
On Oct. 3, during an on-camera press briefing, Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary, was asked about Tabatabai’s status since an internal investigation is underway. “My question is what’s her status now? And does she — is her — have you suspended her clearance? And if not, why not?” the reporter asked. Singh responded, “No, we haven’t. We believe that she was — went through the vetting process … I don’t have any more to provide on that.” When a person has a long and strong relationship with an ardent enemy of the United States, what kind of a vetting process was used?
Americans are learning that the Biden national security team put access to critically sensitive defense and foreign policy information and operations in the hands of high-risk individuals through its casual or — worse yet — purposeful approach to personnel selection. After all, personnel “is” policy.