U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley is on leave because his security clearance is under investigation.
Malley’s absence could further hinder Biden administration efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal and come to terms with Tehran on a range of other matters.
“I have been informed that my security clearance is under review,” Malley said in a text message. “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.”
Malley didn’t say when the leave began or the extent of it. He has given interviews about Iran at least as of late May.
Malley is a lightning rod among President Joe Biden’s aides because he has been willing to engage some controversial figures, and many anti-Iran hardliners passionately dislike him.
Malley resigned as an informal adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 when it emerged that he’d met with members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas while working for the International Crisis Group, a conflict research organization.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement to reporters earlier Thursday that Malley was on leave but would not offer details as to why.
“Abram Paley is serving as acting Special Envoy for Iran and leading the department’s work in this area,” Miller added.
Source : Politico