On Robert Malley, We Tried To Warn You

Adam Kredo, Robert Malley (screenshot, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

It looks like part of the Washington press corps has finally caught up with our own Adam Kredo's reporting on President Biden's envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, who is now under FBI investigation for mishandling classified information.

Now that the scandal is out in the open, it's worth recalling some of Kredo's prescient scoops. Before Malley was formally announced as the Biden administration's point man to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Kredo smelled a rat. On January 25, 2021, he reported that a senior adviser to Iran's then-president, Hassan Rouhani, welcomed the selection of Malley to the post.

A few weeks later Kredo reported on the odd talks Malley had with Chinese Communist Party officials about restarting nuclear diplomacy with Iran, a move that contradicted Secretary of State Antony Blinken's own promise to pause diplomacy until and unless Iran stopped stockpiling highly enriched uranium, fuel suitable for a weapon.

When Malley was absent from briefings to Congress on the Iran deal, Kredo wrote about the first House investigation into the revocation of the envoy's security clearance. When the Tehran Times, an Iranian regime mouthpiece, printed a letter from the State Department's diplomatic security office informing Malley that his security clearance was suspended, Kredo was once again on the case.

For the most part, Kredo's scoops were met with crickets from the fourth estate and the Biden administration. But the stench is now too pungent to ignore. After Semafor and Iran International last month published bombshells on an Iranian foreign ministry initiative to cultivate Western experts to influence the debate over Iran policy, mainstream outlets are starting to connect the dots.

It turns out that Malley hired an adviser for his work to revive the nuclear deal, Ariane Tabatabai, who also participated in this Iranian operation. The Pentagon soon plucked her to be the chief of staff to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict. Malley tried to hire Ali Vaez, another member of the Iranian influence network, but Vaez never got the proper clearances for the job.

Once again, Kredo was ahead of the curve. On March 16, 2021, he sounded the alarm about Tabatabai when Malley hired her. Combing through her public writings and statements and interviewing Iranian dissidents, Kredo reported that Malley's new adviser had downplayed Iranian protests and defended Iran's meddling in Iraq.

One might think the State Department would be grateful for Kredo's sleuthing. Instead, Kredo was accused by a spokesman at Foggy Bottom of smearing a well-qualified analyst.

If only the Biden administration had listened to Kredo's warnings, it would be spared the scandal and humiliation today of having entrusted its Iran policy to a man who can't understand that Iran's regime is not a friend, it's an enemy. If only the Biden administration had listened to Kredo's warnings, the Pentagon would be spared a potential Iranian agent in its ranks.

There's a lesson here somewhere.