Media Contact 202-226-8467

Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul released the following statement in response to reports from Semafor about an Iranian regime influence campaign intended to impact U.S. policymaking. Many of those involved also had close ties to Robert Malley, Special Envoy for Iran, who is under investigation for mishandling classified information and currently on leave from the State Department without pay. In February 2021, Mr. Malley allegedly recruited one of those identified in the reports, Ariane Tabatabai, to join the State Department to assist him in his negotiations with Iran. After 15 months, she moved to the Defense Department where she currently serves as the chief of staff to the Assistant Secretary for Special Operations for Low Intensity Conflicts. 

“Every day, the Rob Malley saga gets more alarming. Not only is the Special Envoy for Iran being investigated by the FBI after having his security clearance suspended, new reports allege an official responsible for supporting his Iran negotiating team was a core member of an Iranian-run influence campaign. Somehow this official was able to get a security clearance in spite of that, and now works in a senior position at the Defense Department. Between these egregious violations of trust by Biden officials, their mind-boggling $6 billion hostage deal that enriched the largest state-sponsor of terror, and their refusal to enforce sanctions, the Biden administration’s weak Iran policy is emboldening a dangerous adversary. The American people deserve transparency on the Malley saga immediately.”