Pentagon Defends Official Accused of Being a Spy

( – You’d expect the Pentagon to react strongly to suspicions that one of the people it employs is an enemy spy. After all, the giant building contains most of our military’s most vital secrets, and a foreign agent gaining access to it could be disastrous. Instead, with a senior official standing accused of working for the Iranian regime, defense chiefs have rushed to her defense.

Biden appointee Dr. Ariane Tabatabai is a senior academic employed by the Department of Defense. She’s the chief of staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, a sensitive post that requires a high-level security clearance. A condition of holding this clearance is that you can’t work for hostile regimes or show any sign of divided loyalties — but investigators have raised doubts about Tabatabai.

In 2014, with negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal at their height, a London-based news network obtained emails between senior Iranian officials. These messages describe an Iranian plan to boost the rogue state’s image by building a network of people in other countries. The network was called the Iran Experts Initiative (IEI) — and Tabatabai was one of the Americans named as a member.

On September 26 Semafor reported the links between Tabatabai and the IEI, raising questions about why she was working in the Pentagon. The House Armed Services Committee wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, calling the reports “alarming” and asking a series of questions about her background. However, instead of taking action and launching an investigation, the Pentagon has closed ranks around the suspect official. Within hours a spokesman insisted Tabatabai had been “properly vetted” and said the DOD is “honored to have her serve.”

Tabatabai is one of three people allegedly linked to the IEI who worked for former Iran envoy Robert Malley. Malley was suspended earlier this year for “mishandling” classified information.

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