The Biden administration doesn’t “have any reason to believe” that Iran infiltrated the State Department, according to State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller.
Miller said during a Monday press conference that there isn’t any reason to believe that an Iranian influence network would have infiltrated the State Department before immediately confirming that the investigation into Rob Malley, the department’s Special Envoy for Iran, was ongoing. Malley was suspended from his role in July over questions about his handling of classified information and his ties to Iranian intelligence, as he surrounded himself with a number of 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 said on Monday.
“Not specifically about him, but about the other people,” Matt Lee, a journalist at the Associated Press, said in response.
‘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 (IEI), 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 currently chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations in the Pentagon, and had worked under Malley in her previous role, according to Semafor.
The Pentagon confirmed it had opened a separate investigation into Tabatabai and whether she was properly vetted for her role, after previously stating last week she was ““thoroughly and properly vetted” and was “honored to have her serve.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.