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Congress wants answers on suspension of US Iran envoy Rob Malley

The State Department's failure to inform Congress of the move "demonstrates at best a lack of candor," says House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman.

U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley. Credit: VOA Persian/Wikimedia Commons.
U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley. Credit: VOA Persian/Wikimedia Commons.

The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee is demanding answers from the State Department over an investigation into Iran special envoy Rob Malley.

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul wrote a letter on Friday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken after it was revealed that Malley was put on unpaid leave last week after earlier this year being stripped of his security clearance amid an investigation into his handling of classified documents.

“The Department’s failure to inform Congress of this matter demonstrates at best a lack of candor, and at worst represents deliberate and potentially unlawful misinformation,” the chairman wrote. “Given the gravity of the situation, it is imperative that the Department expeditiously provide a full and transparent accounting of the circumstances surrounding Special Envoy Malley’s clearance suspension and investigation and the Department’s statements to Congress regarding Special Envoy Malley.”

The letter also requests that the White House make available to testify at a public hearing and provide a classified briefing on Capitol Hill by the end of July Acting Special Envoy for Iran Abram Paley and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk

“I have been informed that my security clearance is under review. I have not been provided any further information, but I expect the investigation to be resolved favorably and soon. In the meantime, I am on leave,” Malley told reporters last week.

Malley said on Saturday in response to McCaul’s letter that he was “eager to know what the State Department’s review is about and, as I have made clear from the outset, am prepared to cooperate fully with it.”

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