Sen. Ted Cruz: Released documents “suggest a vast Iranian influence operation that goes to the very top of the administration.”
Top officials on President Joe Biden’s Iran team were acting under the directions of the Iranian regime, a trove of recently released documents by the U.S. news website Semafor show.
At least three senior aides to President Biden’s Special Envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, were reportedly members of the notorious “Iran Experts Initiative” (IEI), launched in 2014 to peddle influence inside Washington. The documents highlight “how Iran was capable of the kind of influence operations that the U.S. and its allies in the region often conduct,” Semafor reported Tuesday.
The members of Iran-backed IEI advocated for the 2015 nuclear deal. Steered by Iran’s Foreign Ministry, members of the group used Western mainstream media outlets to bolster Tehran’s negotiating position in the run-up to the nuclear agreement. “The IEI participants were prolific writers of op-eds and analyses, and provided insights on television and Twitter, regularly touting the need for a compromise with Tehran on the nuclear issue — a position in line with both the Obama and Rouhani administrations at the time,” the news website noted.
Today’s podcast is incredibly important. There is breaking news that three top officials linked to the Biden Iran team were getting instructions directly from the Iranians on critical national security decisions.
Additionally, there is breaking news that a Chinese Communist… pic.twitter.com/qdR2jgWSUR
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 27, 2023
The documents reveal how gullible U.S. and Western media bought the Iranian narrative hook, line, and sinker. “The Iranian officials behind the IEI … boasted to their superiors in internal emails about the initiative’s successes. They tracked how often the academics in the IEI wrote or were cited in the media,” the news website reported.
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 revelations might explain why Malley was suspended and stripped of his security clearance three months ago. CNN reported in late June that Malley was “placed on leave without pay” and “his security clearance” was suspended earlier this year “amid an investigation into his handling of classified material.”
Semafor reported the details of Iran’s massive influence operation:
In the spring of 2014, senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues — particularly its nuclear program — by building ties with a network of influential overseas academics and researchers. They called it the Iran Experts Initiative.
The scope and scale of the IEI project has emerged in a large cache of Iranian government correspondence and emails reported for the first time by Semafor and Iran International. The officials, working under the moderate President Hassan Rouhani, congratulated themselves on the impact of the initiative: At least three of the people on the Foreign Ministry’s list were, or became, top aides to Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy on Iran, who was placed on leave this June following the suspension of his security clearance.
The documents offer deep and unprecedented new insights into the thinking and inner workings of Iran’s Foreign Ministry at a crucial time in the nuclear diplomacy — even as Tehran’s portrayal of events is questioned, if not flatly denied, by others involved in the IEI. They show how Iran was capable of the kind of influence operations that the U.S. and its allies in the region often conduct.
The emails were obtained and translated by Iran International, a Persian-language television news channel headquartered in London — which was briefly based in Washington due to Iranian government threats — and shared with Semafor. Semafor and Iran International jointly reported on some aspects of the IEI. Both organizations have produced their own stories independently.
The communications reveal the access Rouhani’s diplomats have had to Washington’s and Europe’s policy circles, particularly during the final years of the Obama administration, through this network. One of the German academics in the IEI, according to the emails, offered to ghostwrite op-eds for officials in Tehran. Others would, at times, seek advice from the Foreign Ministry’s staff about attending conferences and hearings in the U.S. and Israel. The IEI participants were prolific writers of op-eds and analyses, and provided insights on television and Twitter, regularly touting the need for a compromise with Tehran on the nuclear issue — a position in line with both the Obama and Rouhani administrations at the time. The emails describe the IEI being initiated following Rouhani’s 2013 election, when he was looking to find an accommodation with the West on the nuclear issue. According to the emails, Iran’s Foreign Ministry, through its in-house think tank — the Institute for Political and International Studies — reached out to ten “core” members for the project, through which it planned to liaise over the next 18 months to aggressively promote the merits of a nuclear deal between Tehran and Washington, which was finalized in July 2015.
Republican lawmakers demand probe
Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republican lawmakers demanded an investigation into the Iranian-backed operation that managed to penetrate the top echelons of the Biden administration. The Washington Times reported:
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said he found the reports of an alleged Iranian influence operation “indescribably troubling.”
“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,” Mr. Cruz said Tuesday. “These reports and emails suggest a vast Iranian influence operation that goes to the very top of the administration.”
First @Rob_Malley’s scandal & now new shocking reports that pro-Iran Biden officials w clearances had allegedly coordinated w/ Iran’s terrorist regime on influence operations in the U.S.
How many of Biden's pro-Iran admin officials are compromised? 1/2 https://t.co/5nGAgWelE9
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) September 27, 2023
Malley’s troubling past dealings with Iran
The controversy involving people surrounding Malley being linked to the Iranian regime should not come as a big surprise.
Malley himself has a tainted past when it comes to dealing with Iran. In 2008, he was fired from the 20o8 Obama presidential campaign after reports emerged that he was holding “unauthorized” talks with Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas. He was “forced to sever ties with the campaign when news outlets reported he had met with members of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that the State Department classifies as a terrorist organization,” NBC News reported.
Malley’s hand in Biden’s $6bn Iran ransom deal
According to CNN, Malley played a “prominent role” in the recently finalized multi-billion ransom deal between Biden’s White House and Iran. Earlier this month, Biden released $6 billion for rescuing 5 U.S. hostages being held in Iran legally.
The ransom deal with Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, was so bad that President Donald Trump accused Biden of personally benefiting from the deal. “So, let’s get this straight! We did a hostage TRADE with Iran. We gave them 5 very tough, smart people that they desperately wanted. We likewise got back 5 people BUT, we also gave them 6 BILLION DOLLARS!” Trump wrote Truth Social. “How much of a kickback does Crooked Joe Biden get?”
German daily BILD: Advisor to foreign minister Baerbock also implicated, advocated for Iran’s nuke program
The revelations also had a ripple effect on the other side of the Atlantic, where a supposed advisor to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was also found to be working for the Iranian influence ring. “Is this Baerbock advisor an agent of the Mullahs?” the German tabloid Bild asked.
German-Iranian Adnan Tabatabai “has been an ‘expert’ on German media for years, calls himself as ‘advisor’ to the foreign minister, and this despite him [being outed] for being in obvious collusion with Iran’s Mullah regime for a long time,” the newspaper wrote. “Now a serious suspicion has come to light: He is said to have been actively advocating to the mullahs. What was his actual [objective]: PR for the Iranian nuclear program!”DONATE
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