Pentagon Supports Official Amid Allegations of Iranian Espionage Ties

( – A report published by the worldwide publication Semafor recently threw a spotlight on Ariane Tabatabai, a senior official in the Department of Defense, claiming she’s worked to push Iranian influence on American attitude and policy. Tabatabai, a political scientist who is well known for her knowledge of the rival country’s nuclear decision-making, allegedly belonged to a Tehran-based organization called the Iran Experts Initiative (IEI). The group’s sole purpose was to inflate Iran’s image and standing among the world’s leading powers. Still, the Pentagon supports her position in the US government.

Tabatabai wasn’t just any operative for the IEI, according to Semafor’s assessment, which found she had been among a select group of individuals chosen to be its core members. Email messages suggest she contacted Iran’s Foreign Ministry on at least two occasions prior to attending US policy events. Her words and actions alike paint her as an Iranian apologist — particularly the paper she wrote for the Boston Globe, distributed by Harvard Kennedy Center’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The analysis, titled “Five Myths about Iran’s Nuclear Program,” basically defends Iran’s supreme leader and the country’s right to develop its nuclear energy program.

And yet Tabatabai was reportedly fully vetted for her government position in the Pentagon, where she currently works as the chief of staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations.

Iran’s nuclear program fell under heavy restrictions in 2015 when the Middle Eastern country and several other world powers, including the United States, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, later known as the Iran nuclear agreement. Former President Donald Trump pulled the United States from the agreement in 2018, and Iran has since resumed its nuclear enrichment programs. Given the possibility that Iran could be close to producing nuclear weapons, Tabatabai’s placement in the Pentagon apparently hasn’t helped the US stay any safer from the threat.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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