FLASHBACK: Suspended Biden Iran Envoy Says Hamas Is Misunderstood Charity Group

October 11, 2023

Suspended Biden administration Iran envoy Robert Malley said that thinking of Hamas only in terms of "terrorist violence" is a "mistake," arguing that it "has a charity organization, a social branch." Hamas is the brutal terrorist group that last weekend massacred Israelis and provoked a war against Israel.

"It's a mistake to only think of [Hezbollah and Hamas] in terms of their terrorist violence dimension," Malley said in an interview for the pro-Palestinian 2010 documentary Cultures of Resistance, saying that Hamas has "deep loyalty, it has a charity organization, a social branch." The comments resurfaced on X, formerly Twitter, after former State Department adviser Gabriel Noronha and the Republican National Committee tweeted clips from the interview.

"There's so much misinformation about them," Malley went on. "I speak to them, my colleagues speak to them. Now, we may disagree with them, but they have their own rationality, that's the one thing to understand. These are not—none of them are crazies. They may do things that we consider to belong to a different realm of rationality, but within their own system, it's often very logical."

Malley is facing allegations of mishandling sensitive information, personal misconduct, and misuse of classified networks, according to leaked State Department documents, leading the department to revoke his credentials and security clearance amid an investigation, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The FBI is also investigating Malley.

Before joining the Biden administration, Malley headed the International Crisis Group, a think tank that employs at least two people involved in an Iranian Foreign Ministry plot to influence U.S. policy, according to an explosive Semafor report last month. A third person reportedly involved in the plot, Ariane Tabatabai, worked with Malley in the Biden administration before taking a job at the Pentagon.

Republicans are investigating whether the Malley investigation and the Iranian Foreign Ministry plot are linked, the Free Beacon reported Wednesday.

Malley has a long history of playing nice with Hamas. About two years before Malley sat for the Cultures of Resistance documentary, Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign fired him for having discussions with the terrorist group.

As president, however, Obama in 2014 rehired Malley, giving him a senior role on the National Security Council and then making him the lead negotiator on the much-criticized 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Hamas on Saturday launched a bloodthirsty attack on Israel, killing hundreds of Israeli civilians and wounding thousands more. Photos and videos across social media show Hamas murdering, kidnapping, and raping Israelis, including women, children, and the elderly.