Tag Archive for: Robert Malley

Biden’s Iran Envoy Robert Malley Helped Fund and Direct Iranian Intel Operation to Influence U.S. and Allies

What is the definition of “treason” again? Oh yeah, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

High-Level Iranian Spy Ring Busted in Washington

by Lee Smith, Tablet, October 1, 2023:

The Biden administration’s now-suspended Iran envoy Robert Malley helped to fund, support, and direct an Iranian intelligence operation designed to influence the United States and allied governments, according to a trove of purloined Iranian government emails. The emails, which were reported on by veteran Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon, writing in Semafor, and by Iran International, the London-based émigré opposition outlet which is the most widely read independent news source inside Iran, were published last week after being extensively verified over a period of several months by the two outlets. They showed that Malley had helped to infiltrate an Iranian agent of influence named Ariane Tabatabai into some of the most sensitive positions in the U.S. government—first at the State Department and now the Pentagon, where she has been serving as chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, Christopher Maier.

On Thursday, Maier told a congressional committee that the Defense Department is “actively looking into whether all law and policy was properly followed in granting my chief of staff top secret special compartmented information.”

The emails, which were exchanged over a period of several years between Iranian regime diplomats and analysts, show that Tabatabai was part of a regime propaganda unit set up in 2014 by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. The Iran Experts Initiative (IEI) tasked operatives drawn from Iranian diaspora communities to promote Iranian interests during the clerical regime’s negotiations with the United States over its nuclear weapons program. Though several of the IEI operatives and others named in the emails have sought to portray themselves on social media as having engaged with the regime in their capacity as academic experts, or in order to promote better understanding between the United States and Iran, none has questioned the veracity of the emails.

The contents of the emails are damning, showing a group of Iranian American academics being recruited by the Iranian regime, meeting together in foreign countries to receive instructions from top regime officials, and pledging their personal loyalty to the regime. They also show how these operatives used their Iranian heritage and Western academic positions to influence U.S. policy toward Iran, first as outside “experts” and then from high-level U.S. government posts. Both inside and outside of government, the efforts of members of this circle were repeatedly supported and advanced by Malley, who served as the U.S. government’s chief interlocutor with Iran under both the Obama and the Biden administrations. Malley is also the former head of the International Crisis Group (ICG), which directly paid and credentialed several key members of the regime’s influence operation….

Read more.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump and Biden’s Iran Envoy Were Both Accused of Mishandling Classified Info

One was allowed to stay on his job, the other was raided by the FBI.

Last year, the FBI conducted a raid of former President Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago.

Biden’s Justice Department bypassed normal protocol for the raid, sidelined the FBI’s Miami Field Office, refused to assign a U.S. Attorney’s Office and pressured the FBI to go forward.

Next year, the Biden administration encountered an internal case of one of its top officials mishandling classified information. The mishandling of classified information on Iran, the linchpin of the Trump indictment, didn’t just hit any Biden official, but its special envoy for Iran.

Even as the Justice Department moved full speed ahead with targeting Trump, the State Department was aware that Rob Malley, Biden’s special envoy for Iran, was being investigated for mishandling classified information. Despite that, Malley remained on the job and apparently retained his access to classified information until his security clearance was pulled this spring.

Under investigation and with his security clearance suspended, Malley still officially remained the special envoy for Iran even though secretly he was no longer able to conduct some of his duties. Only at the end of June when the story broke, did the State Department switch from calling Malley the envoy to Iran to finally stating that, “Rob Malley is on leave.”

Within 6 months, the FBI had gone from a criminal investigation of Trump to a raid. It seems to have taken nearly that long for Malley just to be put on leave and it appears that he would still be named as the special envoy for Iran if the story of the investigation had not come out.

In one of the most awkward moments in an administration whose press conferences are full of them, State Department spokesman Matt Miller blurted out that he had “no comment” on Rob Malley’s status before assuring reporters that he was still the special envoy. And then Miller had to announce that Malley was on leave and his second in command was carrying on.

Prior to that, the State Department had offered misleading answers such as, “the Department of State, the Special Envoy for Iran, and his team remain deeply engaged on the formulation and implementation of US Iran Policy” while refusing to name who the actual envoy was.

The State Department had gone to great lengths to cover up the status of one of its top figures involved in an issue of major national security who was being investigated by the FBI. Not only did it not disclose that Malley no longer had access to classified information and had been forced to step away from some duties, but it actively obstructed reporters from learning about it.

The State Department’s official site, as of this writing, still names Malley as the special envoy. The Twitter account and other official State Department messaging accounts still carry Malley’s name. Had the story not come out from Iran dissident sources, we still would not know about it.

The surprise is not that Malley’s security clearance was suspended, it’s that he ever had it in the first place.

Robert Malley is the son of Simon Malley: a key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party and an adviser to terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama was forced to boot Robert Malley over his meetings with Hamas on behalf of George Soros’ International Crisis Group. Once in office, Obama brought Malley back and named him to a succession of top positions even though Iranian opposition groups and pro-Israel activists warned that Malley was sympathetic to Iran’s terror regime and working against America.

Malley helped negotiate the deal that allowed Iran to continue developing its nuclear program while having sanctions lifted on the terror state. After Trump won, Malley rejoined the Soros ICG and was accused of conducting backchannel talks with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif to undermine the Trump administration in violation of the Logan Act. While Gen. Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, was investigated for violations of the Logan Act for lobbying foreign officials in support of a resolution on Israel at the UN, Obama officials like Kerry and Malley never faced an investigation over alleged Logan Act violations aimed against America and Israel.

Biden brought in Malley as the special envoy for Iran despite not only all of this history, but also the fact that his son, Blaise Malley, was working for the Quincy Institute run and funded by key figures in the pro-Iran movement, as well as George Soros. Trita Parsi, Quincy’s executive VP, a dual Iranian-Swedish national, founded the National Iranian American Council, described by Iranian dissidents as the ‘Iran Lobby’ which has been accused of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Robert Malley has spent his time as special envoy for Iran offering to give the Islamic terror regime anything it wants. America was “prepared to get back into the deal as soon as possible – as soon as Iran is”, he had pleaded. Iranian dissidents have held protests calling for Malley to be fired, condemned him and warned that he is working for Iran, not America.

The Biden administration was well aware that Robert Malley was not just another official. He was a political extremist who had been accused of inappropriate ties to enemy nations and terror groups for decades, whose father had been expelled from France, whose son was working for an outpost of the Iran Lobby, and yet an investigation into mishandling classified information was not only slow walked, but covered up to an almost criminal degree.

The State Department misled Americans and reporters about the status of its special envoy for Iran. And in the process it also effectively misled much of the world which has been monitoring the failed attempt by the Biden administration to restart the Iran Deal. Including potentially Israel. After a week in which the Biden administration had accused Israel of ‘leaking’ information about its plans to implement a non-binding ‘temporary’ deal with Iran, which was actually being leaked by Iranian sources, it has been caught covering up the misconduct of its Iran envoy.

The Biden administration’s coverup of its Iran envoy mishandling classified information is in sharp contrast to its purported concern over Trump’s handling of classified information on Iran.

An administration genuinely concerned with national security, especially when it comes to Iran, would never have appointed Malley as an envoy for Iran. Appointing someone with his history and connections to any national security position showed a total disregard for national security. Covering up for him reveals the scope of the State Department’s complicity in Malley’s actions.

As a New York Times story notes, “Mr. Malley is a boyhood friend of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken; the two attended the same high school in Paris when their families were living in France.” Beyond Blinken, Malley was embedded in the system by the Clinton, Obama and Biden administrations. He is part of a larger network of pro-Iran and anti-American officials within the State Department and the larger ‘blob’ of think tanks, activists, lobbyists, reporters and foreign agents that calls the shots on foreign policy. Malley’s alleged sin is theirs.

The treatment of Trump does not reflect a concern for the sanctity of classified information, but is motivated solely by targeting the political opposition.

When you have the wrong political views, the FBI will knock on your door even if you’re the former president of the United States. And if you have the right political views, even if you’ve been a walking security risk for two decades, the State Department will cover for you and you’ll be able to keep your title even while being investigated for mishandling classified information.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Son of Biden’s Iran Envoy Works for ‘Iran Lobby’

During the 2008 election, the Obama campaign dropped Robert Malley as an adviser over his work with Hamas on behalf of George Soros’ International Crisis Group. Once in office, Obama brought back his old buddy into the National Security Council.

Malley (pictured above) then became the lead negotiator for the sellout deal to legitimize Iran’s nuclear program.

Despite vocal criticism from Iranian dissidents and the country’s freedom movement, Biden chose Malley as his special envoy to Iran. Even as Robert Malley continues conducting outreach to the Islamic terrorist state on behalf of the Biden administration, his son works at a pro-Iran organization tied to a key figure in the Iran Lobby.

Robert was the son of Simon Malley, an adviser to PLO terrorist leader Yasser Arafat and the founder of a Communist party in Arafat’s native homeland of Egypt. Blaise Malley represents the third generation of the family’s leftist radicalism being used to prop up Islamist movements.

The son of Biden’s envoy to Iran spends his time undermining American efforts against Iran.

Blaise Malley is listed as a full-time reporter for the Quincy Institute run and funded by key figures in the pro-Iran movement. His most recently article agitates against further American involvement in the conflict against the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists in Yemen whose motto is, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse to the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

Iran spends an estimated $20 million a year backing the Houthis. Their ability to hold parts of Yemen is crucial to the terror regime’s ambitions for the region. America’s first strike against the Houthis was actually in response to their cruise missile attack on the USS Mason.

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft was founded by George Soros and Charles Koch. Its donors include a roster of leftists and their foundations including the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Barbara Streisand, and Frank Giustra: the billionaire at the center of the Clinton Foundation scandal involving the sale of Uranium One to Russia.

The executive VP of Quincy however is Trita Parsi: a dual Iranian-Swedish national who founded the National Iranian American Council. NIAC, described by critics as the ‘Iran Lobby’, has been accused of violating tax laws and the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Quincy’s board includes Francis Najafi. a wealthy Iranian real estate developer who is also a major funder of NIAC, and Amir Handjani, the exclusive broker for an American company doing business with Iran, and a Quincy Institute fellow, who also appears to be a donor.

Masih Alinejad, the Iranian-American dissident journalist targeted for kidnapping by the regime, tweeted that, “NIAC and Quincy are the Russia Today of the Iranian Regime. They spend all of their time defaming critics of the Islamic Republic, myself included. When the regime attempts to kill us they’re either silent or mealy-mouthed. ”

As an envoy, Robert Malley is in theory supposed to represent American interests. At a minimum, close family members of Biden’s envoy to Iran should not be employed by an organization that has a vehement pro-Iran agenda and ties to pro-Iranian financial interests.

But Blaise, who was nurtured by the same Islamist-internationalist network, who served as a managing editor at the Journal of Middle East Studies and wrote his thesis on “Is a Left/Right Coalition on Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy Feasible” is just the latest incarnation of the Malley family which seems to have been bred to undermine America and support its enemies. It’s only a matter of time until Blaise rises through the think tanks and then into the government.

And Blaise is benefiting from some of the same connections that followed his father around.

A recent letter in defense of Robert Malley fumed that, “those who accuse Malley of sympathy for the Islamic Republic have no grasp of – or no interest in – true diplomacy”. It was signed by, among others, Trita Parsi’s brother, a board member at NIAC, Amir Handjani, a board member and two fellows at Quincy. How better to dispute the accusation that Malley is on Iran’s side.

The difference between father and son is that the elder Malley is embedded within the government and has to be a bit discreet, while the younger Malley is free to do his best Tokyo Rose impression in the virtual pages of any publication that will run his propaganda.

In The American Prospect, a leftist publication, Blaise Malley warned that “Iran’s leadership may also have lost trust in an American government”, suggested that the Islamic terror state might be “keeping the door open to improving relations with the United States”, but cautioned that “it would be a mistake to assume that Iran doesn’t have a say in the deal’s future as well.”

Iranian propaganda could hardly be any more clearly packaged.

In The New Republic, Blaise Malley claimed that sanctions on Iran had killed 13,000 people despite the fact that food and medicine are not sanctioned. Malley quoted a Quincy official complaining that America had sanctioned Iran and “we won’t guarantee to lift the sanctions if they go back to doing what we wanted.”

“No good has come of trying to isolate other authoritarian countries, such as Iran, North Korea, and others,” Blaise Malley whined at the Washington Examiner.

Forget isolating them abroad, the question is how do we isolate them at home.

Foreign agents for Iran, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood and the entire network around them have overrun D.C. and the media. And top government officials are complicit in the corruption.

As Iranians protest for freedom in the streets, Robert Malley and the pro-Iran influence networks have been caught up in the backlash. Malley was forced to apologize for a tweet that he described as “poorly worded”. And NIAC, Quincy and their circle have tried to reject allegations that they are part of an ‘Iran Lobby’ by offering some concerned noises about the protests.

The Malley family has come a long way since the French Interior Minister stated that Robert’s father and Blaise’s grandfather was issuing “genuine appeals to murder foreign chiefs of state”.

But while the presentation may have changed, the underlying content remains the same.

The Biden administration is maneuvering to appear to condemn the Islamist regime’s brutal crackdown on the protests while covertly supporting it. But it’s hard to maintain that illusion when the son of Biden’s envoy to Iran is pushing Iranian propaganda for the Iran Lobby.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s Team of Israel-Haters

Just days after Joe Biden was inaugurated, pro-Erdogan Turkish journalist Hakkı Öcal, according to Ahval News, “highlighted a report on the strong presence of Jews in the cabinet of U.S. President Joe Biden.” The report claimed that there was an “over 50 percent Jewish presence in the new U.S. cabinet,” and pointed Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Deputy Director David Cohen, among others. But Öcal was off base: among Biden’s handlers, Jewish and non-Jewish, there are few, if any, staunch friends of Israel. After just a few months in office, it was clear that Joe Biden’s handlers’ administration was shaping up to be the most anti-Israel presidency since the founding of the modern State of Israel.

Robert Malley, Special Envoy to Iran, has become notorious over the years for his support for Iran’s Islamic regime and pronounced distaste for Israel. The Washington Times revealed in February 2021 that back in July 2019, “Iran’s smooth, English-speaking foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with Robert Malley, who was President Obama’s Middle East adviser, in an apparent bid to undermine the Trump team and lay the groundwork for post-Trump relations.”

Malley (pictured above left) was a good choice for such an assignment. An Israeli security official noted in February 2008 that Malley “has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hizbullah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don’t jibe with the facts.” Obama dropped Malley in May 2008 after it came to light that he had met with representatives of Hamas, but six months later sent him as an envoy to Egypt and Syria.

Meanwhile, Reema Dodin is a deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. According to the Jerusalem Post, “during the Second Intifada, in 2002, Dodin spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with residents of Lodi, California, saying that ‘suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people.’” Also, “in 2001, Dodin took part in a demonstration at UC Berkeley calling for the university to divest from Israel….The demonstrators compared Israel to apartheid South Africa.”

In a similar vein, Biden’s handlers appointed Maher Bitar the Senior Director for Intelligence on the National Security Council. In 2006, while a student at Georgetown University, Bitar was a member of the executive board of the viciously pro-jihad, anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine, and was seen dancing in front of a banner that said “Divest from Israel Apartheid.”

The Deputy Secretary of State is Wendy Sherman, who was the lead negotiator of Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. The State Department’s undersecretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights is Uzra Zeya. According to the Jewish News Service, Zeya “worked for the magazine Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and its publishing group, American Educational Trust. The Washington Report has questioned the loyalty American Jews have to the United States; published accusations against the ‘Jewish lobby’; claimed American Jews control the media; and accused the Mossad of perpetrating the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel-Palestine is Hady Amr. In an unhinged 2002 rant, Amr repeated Palestinian jihad propaganda, declaring: “I have news for every Israeli: a very large proportion of the more than 150 million children and youth in the Arab World now have televisions, and they will never, never forget what the Israeli people, the Israeli military and Israeli democracy have done to Palestinian children.”

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is Colin Kahl. According to Israel Hayom, “Kahl has quite the anti-Israel record. He thinks the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq was 1981 was a mistake. In 2012, he acted to remove recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from the Democratic party’s platform. In 2015, he was among those to formulate the Iran nuclear deal. In 2016, at the end of his term, then-US President Barack Obama tasked him with enlisting support for the anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that determined Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria were a violation of international law.”

Have Biden’s handlers appointed a balancing group of strong supporters of Israel, who will move to prevent this unsavory group (which is larger than just those named here) from disrupting America’s relationship with its strongest, most reliable ally in the West? Is there any brake to the ability of the anti-Israel group in Biden’s administration to force Israel to make potentially life-threatening concessions to the Palestinian jihad force. The answer to both questions is no.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Does Obama’s Presidential Directive Mandate Outreach to Islamists?

Waleed Sharaby, is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council   State Department  1-1-27-15(1)

Waleed Sharaby, Secretary General of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council Flashes Rabia MB resistance sign. U.S. State Department Jan. 27, 2015 Source: Facebook screenshot.

Our NER colleague Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein has called Obama, “the most radical American President, ever”. That was in an interview we conducted with him in 2010 that went viral on YouTube. One of the reasons for Dr. Rubenstein’s assessment was the extent to which the President had surrounded himself with like minded senior staff and advisers who condoned outreach to the Muslim Ummah. That was evident early in his first Administration given a trip to Ankara in April 2009, followed by his address at Cairo University in June where he declared a new foreign policy accommodating the concept of Islamist Democracy.  Dr. Rubenstein’s major book on Jihad and Genocide elucidated the anti-Democratic underpinning of Qur’anic doctrine.  Especially concerning him were the Muslim Brotherhood and derivatives, Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Shia Mahdist apocalyptic doctrine espoused by the Islamic Regime in Iran.  A revolutionary Islamist regime bent on achieving nuclear hegemony and possible destruction of Israel.  He also ascribed the President’s willingness to accommodate these views because of his early introduction to Islam as the adopted son of an Indonesian oil executive in his late mother’s second marriage. Rubenstein’s prescient analysis depicted President Obama accommodating Islamist movements as a peculiar form of demopathy, using both violent and civilizational jihad.  That is reflected in his Presidential Policy and Study Directives.

Dan Greenfield  delved into the underpinnings of the Obama radical accommodation of Islamism in a Frontpage Magazine article published on June 8, 2015 entitled, “Directive 11: Obama’s Secret Islamist Plan”:

Directive 11 brought together activists and operatives at multiple agencies to come up with a “tailored” approach for regime change in each country. The goal was to “manage” the political transitions. It tossed aside American national security interests by insisting that Islamist regimes would be equally committed to fighting terrorism and cooperating with Israel. Its greatest gymnastic feat may have been arguing that the best way to achieve political stability in the region was through regime change.

What little we know about the resulting classified 18-page report is that it used euphemisms to call for aiding Islamist takeovers in parts of the Middle East. Four countries were targeted. Of those four, we only know for certain that Egypt and Yemen were on the list. But we do know for certain the outcome.

Egypt fell to the Muslim Brotherhood, which collaborated with Al Qaeda, Hamas and Iran, before being undone by a counterrevolution. Yemen is currently controlled by Iran’s Houthi terrorists and Al Qaeda.

We have witnessed what the secretive Presidential Directive 11 has achieved in public and private meetings with radical Muslim Brotherhood clerics and leaders, both during and following the Arab Spring revolt in these countries from 2010 to the present. To facilitate the objectives of Directive 11 Obama had brought onto his White House and Department staffs members of MB affiliates in the US. He also reached out to academic centers promoting the views that there were “good Islamists”. Groups like the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy  at Georgetown University, headed by Prof. John Esposito, funded in part by the State Department.  After a New York Federal Appeals court decision in 2009, the Administration lifted a visa ban inviting Oxford University Professor Tariq Ramadan, a grandson of the founder of the MB, Hassan al Banna, to participate in CSID forums and take an endowed Chair at Notre Dame University.

Egypt elected in June 2012 an Islamist government headed by former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi that sought to impose Sharia law on the Constitution. The Morsi government stealthily backed MB jihad pogroms against the Coptic Christian minority burning churches, destroying businesses, murdering men, raping and forcing conversion on female victims.  Ironically, Morsi’s Defense Minister, Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al- Sisi rejected Islamism and led a coup on July 3, 2013 jailing and prosecuting hundreds of Muslim Brother leaders including Morsi.  Many of whom, including Morsi are now awaiting possible death sentences for a massive jail break that freed them in January 2011.  Al Sisi in a dramatic January 2015 speech at Al Azhar University raised the matter of reform of Qur’an doctrine before an audience composed of leading Sunni clerics at Al Azhar University in Cairo.  Despite this Egyptian counter-revolution both the US National  Security Staff and State Department  invited former Muslim Brotherhood  Morsi regime political figures and clerics to assist in developing ‘messaging’ to contend with  Al Qaeda,  its affiliates and the self-declared  Islamic  State. We wrote about those instances in NER articles and Iconoclast blogs. What follows are the latest episodes arising from Obama’s Presidential Directive 11.  One concerns the withdrawal of funding of a US backed program seeking to create an alternative Shia civil polity to Iranian proxy Hezbollah that dominates Lebanon.  The other concerns the kerfuffle surrounding meetings of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in both January 2015 at the State Department and private meetings at the CSID in Washington this June.

U.S. withdrew aid to Lebanese Shia NGO seeking to extricate them from the clutches of Hezbollah. 

Lebanon next door to Israel appears to be dominated by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah that has infiltrated the country’s military.  This is a disheartening failure in the wake of the 2005 Cedars Revolution in Lebanon prompted by the assassination of Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri. Hariri was assassinated by Syrian intelligence agents of the Assad régime.  With the plummeting Christian population in Lebanon, demise of the former Amal Shia militia, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah filled the vacuum backed with hundreds of millions of dollars of annual support from Iran. An Iran that delivered hundreds of thousands of weapons, coupled with North Korean expertise building tunnels and fortifications in Sothern Lebanon. Nasrallah’s recklessness triggered the Second Lebanon War in 2006 with the abduction and murder of two Israeli IDF reservists.

Despite Hezbollah’s control over Lebanon there had been a limited US program seeking to arouse Shia opposition to Hezbollah through the auspices of the State Department funded International Republican Institute (IRI), chaired by US. Senator John McCain, (R-AZ).  IRI, like the International Democratic Institute counterpart, seeks to advance democracy abroad.  Both Institutes are outgrowths of the successful program in the 1980s that toppled the Polish Communist regime with church and Solidarity Movement support.  Unfortunately, in the wake of the Arab Spring  both Institutes had  been involved in training  candidates for the predominately Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist dominated Egyptian parliament elected  with now  ousted  President  Mohammed Morsi  in June 2012.  They were subsequently purged when the Morsi regime was overthrown a year later in July 2013 in a coup led by now Egyptian President Al-Sisi.

The Lebanese anti-Nasrallah Hayya Bina Shia program, funded by the IRI, lost US funding that it had received since 2007. According to the Wall Street Journal, it received $640,000 between June 2013 and December 2015.  The IRI notified Hayya Bina director Lokman Slim in April 2015 that the Obama Administration was terminating its support for the program.  The letter Slim received from the IRI read, “the State Department requests that all activities intended [to] foster an independent moderate Shia voice be ceased immediately and indefinitely”.  Could it be that as Obama moves closer to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah given the looming P5+1 nuclear agreement, that it will brook no local dissent in Lebanon among the Shia?  That should not be surprising.  Obama’s Middle East policy czar, Robert Malley, during his stint at the Soros-funded International Crisis Group held discussions with Hezbollah. Despite the later being on the State Department list of designated terrorist organizations.

Egypt objects to continuing Muslim Brotherhood Washington visits with U.S. officials

The Egyptian government has been angered by continued meetings of former Muslim Brotherhood leaders with State Department funded groups and, in some instances, with White House National Security staff.   In January 2015, the State Department hosted a visiting delegation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders from the former Morsi government.  Prior to and following his ouster, the White House National Security team and the State Department met with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood clerics and legislator who was a former terrorist.

On June 8, 2015 the Egyptian foreign ministry requested an audience with US Ambassador to Cairo R. Stephen Beecroft  to express concern and outrage at the visit of another Muslim Brotherhood delegation to Washington.    State Department Jeff Rathke  spokesperson  was peppered  with  questions by  journalists at  Daily Press Briefings on both June 9th and 10th, about the Cairo foreign ministry  meetings with Ambassador Beecroft  and private meetings in Washington  at  the (CSID).  Rathke responded to one such question saying:

Well, again, we’ve met with this group in the past. We haven’t changed our policy. We will continue to meet with groups across the political spectrum. No – but we don’t have any plans to meet with this group at this particular time.

Watch this C-Span video clip of a June 9, 2015 State Department Daily Press Briefing with Press Spokesman Jeff Rathke in an exchange with journalists:

John Rossomando in an Investigative Project on Terrorism article noted the members of the Muslim Brotherhood delegation and the involvement of the CSID:

Egypt sought the recent meeting with Ambassador Stephen Beecroft to show its displeasure with American policy toward the Brotherhood, which it labels a terrorist organization.

Delegation members include Amr Darrag, whose handling of drafting and ratifying Egypt’s December 2012 constitution led to fears the Brotherhood aimed to impose a theocracy; and Wael Haddara, a Canadian Brotherhood member who served as an adviser to deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

Referencing the earlier January meetings, the IPT article noted:

Emails obtained by Middle East Briefing, a publication of the Dubai-based Orient Advisory Group, show that since 2010, Obama administration policy sought to support the Muslim Brotherhood under Presidential Study Directive 11.

State Department and White House officials met in January with a Muslim Brotherhood delegation whose trip had been partly funded by the Brotherhood-linked group Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ). EAFJ leader Mahmoud El Sharkawy is a member of the Brotherhood’s international organization and serves as liaison between his group and Brotherhood members exiled in Turkey, Egypt’s Al-Bawaba newspaper reported in April.

Former State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki downplayed the visit and denied it was a Brotherhood delegation, saying it was a delegation of former Egyptian parliamentarians which included members of the Freedom and Justice Party. Delegation member Waleed Sharaby said in a February interview with Egypt’s Mekameleen TV that the State Department agreed with their position that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi had not brought stability and that his removal would pave the way for a transition to democracy.


President Obama, Robert Malley, and State Department Assistant Secretary for Near East Policy, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, have led this country dangerously astray believing there are ‘good Islamists’ like the Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran’s proxies. By extension that would include the Islamic Republic of Iran on the verge of becoming a nuclear hegemon. This has jeopardized relations with valued allies in the region, Israel, the Kurds in Iraq, Sunni members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Egyptian Al Sisi government. Is this part of a radical plan by the President to insinuate Islamic theocratic doctrine upending Judeo Christian values at the core of our Constitution?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Life long Opponent of Israel appointed as Obama’s Senior Assistant

Robert Malley has been a controversial policy insider and opponent of Israel in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations. Malley faulted Israel for the collapse of the 2000 Peace negotiations with former Israeli PM Ehud Barak at Camp David stoking the late Yassir Arafat to opt for the Second Intifada.

Last Friday, the White House announced his new position as Senior Assistant to  the President  coordinating policies of North Africa, the Middle East and Iran nuclear negotiations. He replaces Phillip Gordon (no relation). He was recently involved in meetings with Rice and Israeli National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen in the run up to Israeli PM Netanyahu’s address to the Joint Meeting of Congress on March 3rd.

Look upon Malley’s promotion as a bad omen for worsening relations with Israel unless Netanyahu is not  elected for a third term on March 17th.  He was brought back to the Obama National Security Council in 2013 as a deputy to Gordon who had the MENA portfolio. There had been adverse criticism of his role as foreign policy adviser to President Obama in the 2008 Presidential campaign on Israel issues. He was accused of having held discussions with Iran proxies Hezbollah and Hamas. In the interim before his return to the NSC, he had an equivalent post at the International Crisis Group. His parents, while both Jewish, were leftists who supported pro-Arab anti-Israel activities in both Egypt and Algeria.

The Times of Israel (TOI) reported last weekend on this latest move by the Administration to isolate Israel under the current Netanyahu government, White House names Israel critic to top Mideast post:

The White House named Robert Malley, a U.S. negotiator at the 2000 Camp David talks, to lead the Middle East desk at the National Security Council. Malley, whose appointment was announced on Friday afternoon, since last year has handled the Iraq-Iran-Syria-Gulf States desk. In replacing Philip Gordon, who has been Middle East coordinator since 2013, he assumes responsibility for Israel and the Palestinians as well as North Africa and the Persian Gulf.

He also assumes a more senior title, moving from senior director to special assistant. Malley already deals with Israel, and has attended meetings on the Iran-nuclear issue between his boss, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and her Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen.

We wrote about Malley’s foreign policy advisor background in a March 2014 Iconoclast post, Saudi-led Gulf Squabble Spells Trouble for Obama?

National Security Advisor Malley was a former Middle East foreign policy aide to President Clinton during the failed 2000 Camp David Israel-Palestinian negotiations between former Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the late Yassir Arafat. Malley had accused Israel of nixing the agreement, when it was evident that Arafat had purposely sabotaged it. Malley went on to become head of the Middle East and North African program of the International Crisis Group and later advised then Senator Obama and was part of the President’s transition team. He holds views that may further complicate Administration Middle East policies. Malley propounded speaking with terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. Malley, was appointed in 2013 to the National Security Council. He had the portfolio for Israel-Palestinian peace talks and the Iran nuclear P5+1 diplomatic initiative.

In  October 2009, we noted his family background and Soros connections in a post Robert Malley and Benny Morris debate One State/Two State Solution at Skidmore College:

Malley is Jewish on both sides. His father was a Mizrahi from Syria who became an Egyptian journalist and was alleged to be an Egyptian Communist party member who fled to France, where young Malley was raised. Malley’s mother was a US Jewish leftist who worked for the Algerian FLN UN delegation. Check out his bio here.  He is a former Middle East adviser to President Clinton on the Camp David 2000 debacle. He alleged that Israel was at fault, rather than the late Yassir Arafat head of the Fatah-PLO, in the failure to achieve a peace accord during the abortive Camp David discussions. That opinion was not shared by former President Clinton and Amb. Dennis Ross, formerly on the Obama NSC staff.  Malley was a mainstay at the International Crisis Group (ICG) supported by George Soros who sits on the ICG board. Malley has been a prominent proponent of ‘engagement’ with Iran proxies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. He was a controversial informal foreign policy advisor during the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign.

Watch this brief You Tube video of Malley in an excerpt from a 2009 documentary discussing outreach to  Hamas:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Robert Malley newly appointed White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region. Image source: YouTube.

Saudi-led Gulf Squabble Spells Trouble for Obama?

The Obama White House and the world media are pre-occupied with Russian President Putin’s grab of the Ukrainian autonomous province of Crimea. There are undertones of “Back to the Future”- meaning a possible return to Cold War era geopolitics with Russia.

Despite that overriding ruckus there was a less well publicized series of events in the Persian Gulf region among members of the Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC). Does this spell trouble ahead for President Obama’s Middle East policies?

At the GCC meeting on March 5th in Riyadh, Qatar was effectively isolated by “sisterly” Sunni Arab states. The Emir of Qatar, a member of the GCC, has been prominent in supporting financial aid and assistance to Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliates in Egypt under Morsi, Hamas in Gaza and the Syrian Opposition Council, one of whose leaders is a dual American Syrian citizenLouay Safi.

Virtually on the heels of the squabble at the GCC gathering, Saudi King Abdullah announced decrees on Friday, March 7th. They listed the MB as a terrorist organization along with several AQ affiliates in Syria and Iraq, as well as Shia terrorist groups in North Yemen and in the oil rich Eastern Province. The latter are backed by both Iran’s Qod Force and Hezbollah. This should present problems and potential conflicts of interest for President Obama’s senior National Security advisor Robert Malley and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. Both of these men espouse outreach to the MB, Iran and proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

This train wreck about to happen has been in development since the July 3, 2013 ouster by Egyptian Gen. al-Sisi of President Morsi in Egypt. Morsi was a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood endeavoring to create a Sharia compliant constitution with him as Emir. Egypt’s interim government in December 2013 outlawed the MB. This week an Egyptian court went after Hamas, the Gaza affiliate of the MB banning activities in Egypt. Following, the ouster of Morsi, Saudi Arabia and several of members of the GCC provided upwards of $12 billion in financial assistance to the interim Egyptian interim government. The stage now appears set for Gen. Abdel Fateh al-Sisi to run as the country’s President, a harkening back to the days of Gamal Abdel Nasser and the possible return of military autocracy in Egypt.

The flashpoint for the GCC isolation of Qatar was the notorious aged Egyptian MB preacher Yousuf al Qaradawi who had been in exile in Qatar before temporarily returning to Egypt in February 2011. He issued Fatwas for the reconquest of Al Quds (Jerusalem) and preached anti-Semitic hatred to crowds in Tahrir Square. In a January 2009 broadcast from Qatar, al Qaradawisaid about Jews: “kill them, down to the very last one.” While in Doha, Qatar he steadfastly refused to participate in annual International Interfaith Conferences.

A news report by Radaw noted the isolation of Qatar by “sisterly” Sunni Arab states because of the mischief of al Qaradawi and sanctuary provided by the Emir:

The Arab states of the lower Gulf are engaged in the latest and potentially most serious of their periodic family squabbles, which this week provoked three of them to withdraw their ambassadors from tiny Qatar.

The Qatar government expressed regret and surprise at Wednesday’s decision by the “sisterly countries” of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, but said it did not plan to retaliate by pulling out its own envoys.

All four states, together with Kuwait and Oman, are members of the GCC.

The official reason for the diplomatic spat is Qatar’s alleged failure to live up to a recent commitment not to interfere in the internal affairs of fellow GCC states.

The three conservative states are particularly distressed that Qatar continued to provide a platform for Yousuf Al Qaradawi, a Qatar-based Egyptian cleric, to use his fiery sermons to attack Saudi Arabia and the UAE despite Riyadh’s threat to freeze relations unless he was silenced.

The scope of King Abdullah’s terrorist designations was reported by Al-Jazeera:

Saudi Arabia has listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization along with two al-Qaeda-linked groups fighting in Syria.

The decree against the Brotherhood, whose Egyptian branch supported the deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was reported on Saudi state television on Friday.

Egypt in December listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, prompting the arrest of members and associates and forcing the Islamist group further underground.

Saudi Arabia also listed Jabhat al-Nusra, which is al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Sham) (ISIS), which has been disowned al-Qaeda, as “terrorist organizations”.

It also listed Shia Huthi rebels fighting in northern Yemen and the little-known internal Shia group, Hezbollah in the Hijaz.

Early in February, 2014, Ayman al Zawahiri at Al Qaeda Central announced that the global Islamic terrorist group had no association with ISIS, instead providing support for the Al Nusrah front fighting against the Assad regime in Syria.  ISIS however has rampaged across the Anbar province in neighboring Iraq overtaking the Sunni town of Fallujah.

About the same time as the AQ ISIS declaration, King Abdullah had announced new counterterrorism policies that were directed against so-called reform movements in the Saudi Kingdom. The Washington Post  reported the new law “states that any act that ‘undermines’  the state or society, including calls for regime change in Saudi Arabia, can be tried as an act of terrorism.” This Saudi law appears  to be in violation of human rights taken for granted in the West, but clearly viewed as seditious in the autocratic and Sharia compliant Wahhabist Kingdom.

These latest Saudi initiatives could have significant implications for the Obama Administration and Secretary Kerry. Kerry is endeavoring to fashion an Israel- Palestinian final status agreement and resolution of the 37 month civil war in Syria.  We noted earlier the presence of Louay Safi as spokesperson for the Syrian Opposition Council at the recent Geneva II plenum talks. Safi was Research Director at the northern Virginia- based MB supported International Islamic Institute of Thought. Moreover, he was also Leadership Development Director at the MB front, the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008  Federal Dallas  trial and convictions of leaders of the Holy Land Foundation. The Muslim charity group had been accused of funneling upwards of $35 million to MB affiliate Hamas. Safi was also invited by the US Army Chief of Staff to lecture troops on Islam at Fort Hood in early December 2009 following the massacre perpetrated by Maj. Nidal Hassan a month earlier. Clearly, Safi’s rise to prominence in the Syrian Opposition Council is indicative of the MB controlling presence.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and senior National Security Aides were present at the May 2012 meetings of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. They were engaged in outreach to MB officials from Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab states and facilitated assistance to ousted President Morsi. Obama Appointments of MB members, especially Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Policy, Arif Alikhan and Senior Advisory board member Mohamed Elibiary have been problematic. National Security Advisor Malley was a former Middle East foreign policy aide to President Clinton during the failed 2000 Camp David Israel-Palestinian negotiations between former Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the late Yassir Arafat. Malley had accused Israel of nixing the agreement, when it was evident that Arafat had purposely sabotaged it. Malley went on to become head of the Middle East and North African program of the International Crisis group and later advised then Senator Obama and was part of the President’s transition team. He holds views that may further complicate Administration Middle East policies.  Malley propounded speaking with terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the MB. Malley, was recently appointed to the National Security Council. He has the portfolio for Israel -Palestinian peace talks and the Iran nuclear P5+1 diplomatic initiative.

Now that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have designated the MB as a terrorist group, would the Obama Administration dare follow their lead? How Messrs. McDonough, Malley and Secretary of State Kerry will contend with a plethora of problems arising from efforts by the Egyptian government and now the Saudi led GCC targeting the MB is a ‘puzzlement’.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.