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Controversy in Washington over Biden’s Pick for US Special Representative for Iran

Controversy in Washington over Biden’s Pick for US Special Representative for Iran

Monday, 25 January, 2021 - 09:30
Robert Malley (second from right) attends negotiations of the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna in 2015. AFP file photo

Media leaks have said US President Joe Biden intends to appoint Robert Malley, president of the International Crisis Group and former Obama administration’s national security advisor on the Middle East, as the new US Special Representative for Iran.

The possibility of Malley’s appointment stirred fears among US parties who oppose reentering a nuclear deal with Iran. These concerns stem from a belief that Biden is seeking to hire back almost all individuals that worked with the Obama administration on achieving the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Many have warned that Biden would be committing a massive foreign policy blunder if he moves forward with appointing Malley.

Nevertheless, some have defended the potential candidate as a perfect fit for the position given the good relations he enjoys among circles connected to the Obama administration.

If picked, Malley will replace Elliott Abrams, who last year replaced Brian Hook.

The Biden administration has acknowledged its desire to renegotiate an agreement with Iran that guarantees that the latter does not acquire a nuclear weapon. New diplomacy would also address Iran’s ballistic missile program and its destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, have made statements in the last few days to confirm that the new US administration will treat Iran strictly.

Blinken and Sullivan explained that the Biden administration is in no rush to reenter the nuclear deal with Iran and will not lift sanctions formerly imposed on the cleric-led country by the Trump administration.

The nominee for top diplomat said he would seek a “longer and stronger” nuclear agreement with Iran.

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