Sens. Cruz, Wicker, Colleagues Demand Accountability from Department of Defense after Revelations of Iranian Spy Ring

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee along with their Senate Republican colleagues sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calling for immediate action after reports revealed that top Biden administration officials had been operatives in, and were linked to, an Iranian spy ring. The letter specifically calls for revoking the security clearance of Ariane Tabatabai, the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), who was engaged in an Iranian regime-linked operation.

The senators wrote“Iran continues to threaten U.S. military personnel in the Middle East and remains intent on assassinating American citizens here in the United States. Given these facts, we find it simply unconscionable that a senior Department official would continue to hold a sensitive position despite her alleged participation in an Iranian government information operation. While we note that Assistant Secretary of Defense for SOLIC Christopher Maier, who is Ms. Tabatabai’s current supervisor, testified before the House on Thursday that the Department is ‘actively looking into whether all law and policy was properly followed in granting my chief of staff top secret special compartmented information,’ we urge you to suspend Ms. Tabatabai’s security clearance immediately pending further review, as the State Department did with her former supervisor, Robert Malley.”

Cosigners include Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), and John Thune (R-S.D.).