Biden Iran Envoy on Ropes After Pro-Regime Comments

Robert Malley’s Credibility, State Department Won’t Say What Mass Protests Are About

Robert Mullin, the Biden administration’s envoy to Iran / Getty Images

Adam Credo • October 25, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s Iran envoy, is under increasing pressure to resign as members of Congress and Iranian-American advocacy groups lose faith in his ability to support a growing protest movement in the Islamic Republic that threatens to topple the hardline regime.

The protests, which first erupted after the regime’s morality police killed a young woman who was not wearing her head properly, quickly turned into a referendum on the Iranian regime. But Malley, who has been the public face of the administration’s diplomacy with Tehran, claimed Protesters are simply demonstrating for “their government to respect their dignity and human rights,” even in the face of growing evidence they are protesting for an end to an oppressive regime.

The Biden administration is still refusing to impose economic sanctions on the Iranian regime as it seeks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, although the prospects for a deal are increasingly dim. The effort has also forced the administration to walk a diplomatic tightrope as it offers soft support to protesters to avoid isolating the hardline government from negotiations. After Malley’s online gaffe, the State Department declined to respond Washington Freedom Lighthouse Questions about whether it appreciates that Iranian protesters are seeking regime change, even as those protesters chant “Death to the dictator” and make it clear they want to topple the theocratic government.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a leading critic in Congress of the new Iran deal, said Free beacon “The Biden administration is literally invested in the survival of the Iranian regime because the administration wants Iranian oil to compensate for the disaster they created by attacking American energy sources. That is why they cannot bring themselves to support the appeals. The people of Iran for regime change”.

“Robert Mulley will go down in the history books as the most ineffective and ruthless State Department official of the past 50 years. It’s time for him to go,” Brian Leib, executive director of Iranian Americans for Freedom, a pro-democracy organization. said to Free beacon. “His latest gaffe on Twitter is just another example of how he has aligned the United States government with the Islamic Republic and not the freedom-seeking people of Iran. His bogus apology is unacceptable and he should be terminated immediately.”

Leib’s comments were echoed by many on Twitter who accused Malley of obfuscating the issue.

“It’s a revolution,” Alireza Nader, an Iran expert and senior fellow at the Defense of Democracies think tank, responded to Malli’s tweet.

“With respect”: asked famous Iranian commentator Saman Arabi. “Iranian [people] they are literally asking for regime change.”

Although Malli later apologized for his tweet, saying it was “poorly worded,” congressional sources and other foreign policy experts said the damage had been done and that Malli’s credibility with Iran’s reformers had been undermined.

“As long as Malley is the special envoy, you know the administration’s policy remains to offer sanctions relief to the Tehran regime,” he said. Richard Goldberg, a former White House National Security Council official who worked on Iran issues and now serves as a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “If he leaves, it will be the first signal of a policy shift away from accommodating the regime and helping the Iranian people.”

The State Department’s official position on the protest movement is also mixed. At the department’s daily briefing on Monday, spokesman Ned Price did not say whether the administration believed the protesters wanted regime change, despite being presented with clear evidence that they did.

“It is not for us to comment on what the people of Iran demand,” Price said. “We never intended to characterize what they were looking for.”

Several journalists were confused by this answer, one of them said: “Ned, I think the thing is, you don’t have to interpret what they say. Do you think they are calling for anything less than a regime change?

“I am not going to speak on behalf of the people of Iran,” Price answered.

Journalist Matthew Lee from the Associated Press continued his line of questioning. “Well, let’s say if I walk down the street carrying a sign that says oranges are bad, well, orange, fruit, orange is bad, they should be. forbidden, how about my message?

“I am the spokesperson of the US State Department. I’m not the spokesperson for the orange,” Price replied.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of State rejected a Free beacon request for comment on the administration’s assessment of what the Iranian protesters are demanding.


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