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Press Release Published: Oct 11, 2023

Comer & Grothman Investigate Biden Administration’s Use of Officials with Compromising Ties to Iranian Regime in Secret Negotiations

WASHINGTON – 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-Wis.) are continuing oversight of the Biden Administration’s failed Iran policy and are raising concerns about the Administration’s use of officials with sympathetic ties to the Iranian regime to negotiate with Iran. In a letter to U.S. Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken, the lawmakers request documents, information, and a briefing to assist the Committee’s investigation.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating the Biden Administration’s efforts to conceal details about its ongoing secret nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran from Congress, ignoring statutory obligations for congressional oversight. The Administration’s lack of transparency is even more troubling in light of press reports about Iran’s direct role in this weekend’s horrific attack on Israel by Hamas and additional revelations that former Special Envoy for Iran (SEI), Robert Malley, and members of his negotiating team may have had compromising ties to the Iranian regime. We request documents, information, and a briefing to assist the Committee’s investigation of these matters,” said the lawmakers.

The United States made recent concessions to Iran, potentially in violation of the Iranian Nuclear Review Act. These concessions occurred as Mr. Malley—the Administration’s top negotiator with Iran—is under investigation for the alleged mishandling of classified material. Mr. Malley already had a history of appeasing United States’ adversaries, including meeting with the terrorist group Hamas. The ongoing investigation into Mr. Malley’s security violations are so serious that he was suspended from his position without pay. 

“According to recent media reports, a former member of Mr. Malley’s Iran negotiating team, Ariane Tabatabai, was in close contact with the Iranian regime for years. Ms. Tabatabai participated in the regime-backed Iran Experts Initiative (IEI), which was launched by senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials in the spring of 2014. The alleged purpose of the initiative was to cultivate a network of European and U.S. researchers that could be used to bolster Iran’s image on global security matters, especially its nuclear program. Its members reportedly worked very closely with the Iranian regime toward this end. Incredibly, despite her previous contact with Iranian regime officials through this unofficial regime-backed network, including consulting with them regarding her potential travel, Ms. Tabatabai is now a high-level staffer within the Department of Defense where she continues to hold a security clearance,” continued the lawmakers.

Read the letter to Secretary Blinken here.

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Hearing Wrap Up: Biden Administration Has Failed to Act Transparently or Assertively In Actions and Negotiations with Iranian Regime