The decade's most triggering comedy
President Joe Biden’s special envoy to Iran has reportedly been placed on leave and his security clearance suspended amid an investigation into his handling of classified material.
CNN reported that Rob Malley, who has been widely criticized for being soft on Iran, was suspended after the State Department launched an investigation over “possible mishandling of classified information.”
The report said that his security clearance was pulled earlier this year and that he was placed “on leave without pay” on Thursday.
“I have been informed that my security clearance is under review,” he said. “I have not been provided any further information, but I expect the investigation to be resolved favorably and soon. In the meantime, I am on leave.”
BREAKING: U.S. envoy for Iran Rob Malley tells me: "I have been informed that my security clearance is under review. I have not been provided any further information, but I expect the investigation to be resolved favorably and soon. In the meantime, I am on leave"
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) June 29, 2023
After the investigation concluded, he was reportedly allowed to stay in his role, but was blocked from accessing classified material.
Sources familiar with that matter told the network that U.S. officials discovered “an issue with Malley’s security clearance” during the investigation.
Malley, whose anti-Israel, pro-Iranian perspective has colored his career, came under fire late last year over his tepid response as Iranian protesters target the despotic, theocratic Iranian government.
Malley’s avoidance of condemning the Iranian regime’s violent oppression of the Iranian people was in line with his prior history, and he was not alone in the Biden administration in his unwillingness to acknowledge the Iranian people’s fervent desire to rid themselves of their tyrannical government.
“Marchers in Washington and cities around the world are showing their support for the Iranian people, who continue to peacefully demonstrate for their government to respect their dignity and human rights,” Malley tweeted last year as protests raged in Iran. He later apologized for the tweet.
Bryan Leib, former executive director of Iranian Americans for Liberty, said, “Robert Malley will go down in the history books as the most ineffective and feckless State Department official of the last 50 years. It’s time for him to go. His most recent gaffe on Twitter is just another example of how he has aligned the United States government with the Islamic Republic and not with liberty-seeking Iranian people. His fake apology is not accepted and he should be terminated immediately.”
Richard Goldberg, senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said bluntly, “So long as Malley is special envoy, you know the administration’s policy remains offering sanctions relief to the regime in Tehran. If he leaves, it’ll be the first signal of a policy shift away from accommodating the regime and toward helping the Iranian people.”
Hank Berrien contributed to this report.