‘Radio Silence’: Biden Admin Refuses To Explain Why It Hired Pentagon Official Accused Of Being An Iranian Influencer

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The Department of Defense (DOD) has ignored a congressional request for an explanation as to why Ariane Tabatabai, a top Pentagon official and member of an Iranian influence network, was hired, according to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC).

Tabatabai is a member of the Iran Experts Initiative (IEI), a network created to bolster Tehran’s global image on a number of initiatives by influencing U.S. and European academics, some of whom ended up working in government roles. The Republican-controlled HASC sent a letter to DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sept. 26 demanding information by Oct. 3 as to how Tabatabai was hired, but the DOD has not provided the requested information, according to HASC Chair and Republican Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers and Republican Georgia Rep. Rich McCormick, who both spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Iran Working To Infiltrate US Policy By Recruiting Western Official, Academics)

“The Biden administration’s radio silence on Tabatabai’s clearance is deafening,” Rogers told the DCNF on Thursday. “We need a thorough review by the DOD of Ms. Tabatabai’s relationship with her apparent Iranian handlers; how she was granted a security clearance and employment as a senior official overseeing U.S. Special Operations; and whether or not she continues to have access to highly classified information.”

“As a Marine Corps and Navy veteran who deployed to the Middle East, I’m deeply disturbed by the Department of Defense’s lack of transparency,” McCormick said to the DCNF. “I believe this is likely either an attempt by the Biden administration to cover up their own incompetence or avoid the risk of derailing their ludicrous attempts to bring Iran’s murderous regime back to the negotiating table for a new nuclear deal.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to get answers as to why the Department of Defense hired Ms. Tabatabai and why she remains employed in an extremely sensitive national security position,” McCormick said. “The American public deserves nothing less than the truth about these allegations.”

Chris Maier, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, confirmed in late September that the DOD had received the letter from the HASC and was “actively looking into whether all law and policy was properly followed in granting my chief of staff [Tabatabai] top secret special-compartmented information.” The DOD missed the October 3rd deadline and provided no new information on Tabatabai, who is still employed at the Pentagon.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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