update deskU.S. News

‘Sensitive’ State Dept. document runs in Tehran paper, as Foggy Bottom rebuffs Congress

“The Tehran Times” presents a “sensitive but unclassified” memorandum, apparently acquired before U.S. legislators saw it.

Iranian newspapers, including the "Tehran Times" (upper left). Credit: Thomas Koch/Shutterstock.
Iranian newspapers, including the "Tehran Times" (upper left). Credit: Thomas Koch/Shutterstock.

House Foreign Affairs Committee leaders have expressed frustration that the U.S. State Department has been stonewalling Congress about details of the June suspension of Robert Malley as special envoy to Iran.

Now a newspaper with close ties to the Iranian government, the Tehran Times, has published a two-page document—marked “sensitive but unclassified”—that purports to be the Malley suspension letter.

Dated April 21, the document is addressed to Malley from Erin Smart, director of the State Department’s diplomatic security bureau.

“Your continued national security eligibility is not clearly consistent with the interests of national security,” Smart wrote, according to the Tehran publication. “Your national security eligibility, including your Top Secret security clearance, is suspended pending an ongoing investigation.”

According to the document, which insiders are taking seriously, Smart’s office “received information regarding you that raises serious security concerns and can be disqualifying.” The letter added that the information related to “personal conduct,” “handling protected information” and “use of information technology.”

“The full details of the suspension of Malley’s security clearance are not previously reported,” the Tehran Times wrote.

“If this memo is authentic, it is extremely concerning, especially since this is not the first time the Iranian regime’s mouthpiece has appeared to have sensitive U.S. government information recently while Congress is kept in the dark,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) stated in a release.

“This latest chapter raises serious questions about how the regime obtained this potentially authentic document and what other sensitive or classified information they may have,” McCaul added. “The State Department needs to do a top-to-bottom security review because I am concerned they have a leak.”

If authentic, the letter would also appear to contradict Malley’s claims to be unaware of the reasons for his suspension, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Since his suspension, Malley has landed teaching gigs at Princeton and Yale universities.

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