After the US State Department announced last week, that US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley Leave was granted without further explanation, yet details have been revealed.
It emerged that the FBI was investigating Mali for classified information, according to the Semaphore news site.
Internal diplomatic security investigation
According to a senior US official, government agencies have refused to say directly about the matter unless the law enforcement agency has an open investigation.
He said the man would face an internal diplomatic security investigation.
The source familiar with the matter also said that he was handed over to the FBI, amid unclear charges. All that was talked about was his mishandling of classified information.
Robert Malley (archives – France Press)
While pointing out that the FBI’s intervention is an important signal that there may be a suspicion of criminal wrongdoing.
“I am on vacation”
The announcement came after Mali confirmed last week that his security clearance was under review and that he expected the investigation to end “with a good result and soon”.
“I was informed that my security clearance is under review. I did not get any other information but I expect the investigation to end well and soon. In the meantime, I am on leave,” he added.
Matt Miller, a spokesman for the US State Department, had said that the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, was “on vacation” and that Abram Bali was replacing him by proxy.
Robert Malley (AFP – archive)
It is noteworthy that Mali was appointed as a special envoy to Iran in January 2021. Mali played a major role in the failed efforts of former US President Bill Clinton to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in 2000 and in the Iranian nuclear agreement in 2015.
Mali led US President Joe Biden’s failed efforts to revive the nuclear deal under which Iran curtailed its nuclear program and made it difficult for it to obtain the fissile material needed to build a nuclear weapon in return for broad sanctions relief. Tehran denies seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
This development comes amid speculation about the existence of indirect talks between Iran and the United States between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations.
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