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Rob Malley: Biden faucets Iran envoy

In a harbinger of the combat the administration is prone to face over Iran, Malley’s appointment was preceded by assaults from conservative lawmakers and Iran hawks. A contingent of progressive suppose tankers and NGO officers and authorities alumni launched a press release in assist of Malley in response to the criticism.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price mentioned that on Iran, Secretary of State Antony Blinken “is building a dedicated team, drawing from clear-eyed experts with a diversity of views.”

“Leading that team as our Special Envoy for Iran will be Rob Malley, who brings to the position a track record of success negotiating constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. The Secretary is confident he and his team will be able to do that once again,” Price mentioned.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki additionally confirmed Malley’s appointment throughout a White House briefing Friday.

Malley will face the challenges of confronting a Tehran that more and more breached its commitments below the landmark 2015 nuclear deal in the course of the 4 years of the Trump administration. The prior administration’s “maximum pressure” marketing campaign noticed it abandon the nuclear deal and pursue a coverage of sanctions aimed toward crushing the regime.

Although President Joe Biden pledged in the course of the marketing campaign to rejoin the deal, Blinken and different officers have indicated that the United States is “a long ways” from probably constructing out an settlement with Tehran.

The Biden administration has mentioned Iran should first come again into “full compliance” with the deal earlier than the US does the identical. Iranian officers have indicated that it is a non-starter. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif known as for the US to “unconditionally (remove), with full effect, all sanctions imposed, reimposed, or relabeled since Trump took office.”

Malley will even should navigate the strongly held and extremely polarized views on the deal within the United States and on the worldwide stage. Prior to the announcement of his appointment, some conservatives had already expressed concern and accused Malley, who served within the Obama and Clinton administrations, of being too smooth on Iran.

A press release in assist of Malley launched Thursday pushed again on these accusations, saying, “Those who accuse Malley of sympathy for the Islamic Republic have no grasp of — or no interest in — true diplomacy, which requires a level-headed understanding of the other side’s motivations and knowledge that can only be acquired through dialogue.”

His appointment has been welcomed by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

“Rob is a great pick, and it’s an encouraging sign of how the Washington foreign policy consensus has shifted in a pro-diplomacy direction. Rob has played a big role in helping shift it,” mentioned Matt Duss, the international coverage advisor to Bernie Sanders. Malley was an adviser to Sanders’ 2020 presidential marketing campaign.

Malley involves the State Department from the International Crisis Group, a battle prevention group. He and Blinken have an extended relationship. Not solely did they work collectively in the course of the Obama administration, additionally they had been highschool classmates in France.

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