State Department First Denies Iranian Spy Infiltration, Then Confirms Onging Investigation

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State Department First Denies Iranian Spy Infiltration, Then Confirms Onging Investigation

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The Biden administration doesn’t “have any reason to believe” that Iran infiltrated the State Department, an agency spokesman said.

During a press conference Monday, spokesman Matthew Miller first said  that no evidence suggests an Iranian influence network had infiltrated the State Department, then immediately confirmed that an investigation into Rob Malley, the department’s special envoy for Iran, is ongoing.

In July, Malley was suspended from his role over questions about his handling of classified information and his ties to Iranian intelligence. Critics said he surrounded himself with individuals who allegedly worked for an Iranian influence network.

“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 told reporters Monday.

“Not specifically about him, but about the other people?” Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked.

‘My comment pertained to that. I do not have any reason to believe that,” Miller responded.

Last week, it was discovered that Ariane Tabatabai, Ali Vaez, and Dina Esfandairy, three academics close to Malley, were working for the Iran Experts Initiative, an operation created to bolster Tehran’s international image by recruiting Western academics and researchers to influence U.S. and European media and government.

Tabatabai is chief of staff to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations in the Pentagon, and had worked under Malley in a previous role, according to Semafor.

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The Defense Department confirmed it had opened a separate investigation into Tabatabai and whether she was properly vetted for her role. The Pentagon had stated last week that she was “thoroughly and properly vetted” and the department was “honored to have her serve.”

The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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The post State Department First Denies Iranian Spy Infiltration, Then Confirms Onging Investigation appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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