Over two dozen Senate Republicans are calling for Ariane Tabatabai’s security clearance to be revoked on the heels of learning she has close ties to the Iranian government.
I'm demanding answers from @SecDef Lloyd Austin about Ariane Tabatabai, an anti-Israel senior official at the Pentagon who is connected to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
We need to know whether her ties to Tehran have influenced her decision making at the DoD. pic.twitter.com/CCdWQtaRyv
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 3, 2023
Biden’s DOD has been compromised by Iran.
Sec. Austin must suspend Tabatabai’s security clearance immediately.
I’m conducting critical oversight to protect our national security 👇 pic.twitter.com/svQL8xekX9
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) September 29, 2023
Ariane Tabatabai’s security clearance should be suspended immediately until the extent of her relationship with Iran’s foreign ministry is clear. https://t.co/3WECn0IbRe
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) September 30, 2023
It isn’t her mere ties to the Iranian government that give members of Congress pause, but her active role in curating a certain image of Iran for the American public. A series of emails published by Semafor detailed Iran’s plan and how Tabatabai was allegedly involved.
Senate Republicans sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday noting,
“Semafor reported that Ariane Tabatabai, who currently serves as chief of staff to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), was part of a so-called Iran Experts Initiative that ‘senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated [in] a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues.”
It was further conveyed that Tabatabai may have played a specific role in shaping America’s view of Iran’s nuclear program – from the Biden Administration, down to the American people.
The letter conveyed Iran’s continued threats to “U.S. military personnel in the Middle East and remains intent on assassinating American citizens here in the United States.”
Senate Republicans conveyed they found it “simply unconscionable that a senior Department official would continue to hold a sensitive position despite her alleged participation in an Iranian government information operation.”
Further concern looms around Tabatabai and two other recruits going on to become aides for Robert Malley, who has acted as Joe Biden’s lead negotiator on Iran. Senate Republicans’ letter also included contempt for the Department’s rebuttal in defense of Tabatabai, instead of investigating the matter properly.
With a handful of Senate Republicans on board to cancel Tabatabai’s security clearance, they are asking for answers to questions that may help shed more light on Tabatabai’s relationship with the Iranian government — as well as her intentions here in America. They are expecting those answers by October 6.