Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have voiced their concerns regarding the reported ties between the Biden administration and individuals linked to an Iranian influence operation. Specifically, there are concerns about Ariane Tabatabai, who serves as the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, and her alleged close relationship with the Iranian regime. These revelations have prompted alarm among conservatives, who argue that individuals with ties to Iran should not hold positions of trust within the Department of Defense.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and Intelligence and Special Operations Subcommittee Chairman Jack Bergman have taken action by sending a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, expressing their deep concerns about Tabatabai's hiring. They contend that her past employment history and close affiliations with the Iranian regime should disqualify her from such a sensitive role within the defense department. Given Iran's status as an adversary of the United States and a national security concern, these concerns are not unfounded.
"Let me be clear, anyone who openly works on behalf of U.S. adversaries, particularly Iran, should not be employed by the Department of Defense." @RepMikeRogersAL
— Armed Services GOP (@HASCRepublicans) September 26, 2023
The lawmakers also highlight that Tabatabai's office is responsible for overseeing operations and programs aimed at countering Iran's disruptive activities. The idea that someone with ties to Iran could potentially influence U.S. policy or have access to sensitive information is considered highly problematic. The lawmakers are demanding answers from Secretary Austin regarding Tabatabai's employment, including the duration of her current role, the timing of her security clearance approval, and whether the department was aware of her associations with Iranian influence networks.
Conservatives argue that the Biden administration's perceived ties to Iran raise valid concerns. They believe that it is dangerous to have individuals with connections to a regime that sponsors terrorism in positions of power within the U.S. government. They call for a thorough investigation into this matter, and if it is confirmed that Tabatabai has ties to Iran, they insist that she should be promptly removed from her position. Safeguarding the security of the United States should always be a top priority, and those who associate with adversarial regimes should not wield influence over U.S. policies or have access to sensitive information.