Stephen D. Mull, the man charged with coordinating the Iran nuclear deal’s implementation, continues in his position at Secretary Rex Tillerson’s State Department, which remains a swampland of Obama holdovers.
President Donald Trump has famously called the Iran deal the “worst deal ever negotiated,” Yet Mull, who has dedicated himself to enforcing that deal, continues to serve his exact role in the State Department as “Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation.”
“There was no better deal to be had,” Mull, who has been described as the Iran deal “czar,” said of the agreement that gave countless billions to the terrorist regime in Tehran. Mull even admitted before Congress that the former administration stopped sanctioning Iran for human rights abuses, in an effort to refrain from upsetting the Mullahs. Moreover, in his position, Mull accompanied Secretary John Kerry in meeting with top Iranian officials to secure the Iran deal.
At times, Mull appeared unaware about whether Iran was abiding by the deal’s terms, though he was supposed to be in charge of maintaining its composure.
As part of his duties, Mull sent a letter to all 50 state governors encouraging them to reconsider sanctions against Iran. In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, current House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R- N.C. described the letter as “pro-Iranian marketing material suggesting we ought to do more business with Iran.”
Fred Fleitz, a former CIA officer who now works at the Center For Security Policy, said that Mull’s letter “repeated numerous false and misleading Obama administration claims” about the deal.
Rep. Meadows continued questioning Mull during the hearing, asking why he didn’t also dedicate efforts towards sending all 50 governors a memo that they should be countering the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement against the state of Israel. As a supposed Middle East expert, Mull’s response indicated that he was completely unaware of the international campaign to delegitimize Israel.
At the end of 2015, Congress attempted to move forward on national security laws that would prevent terrorists who traveled through Iran from entering the United States. Mull warned that such measures “could have a very negative impact” on the Iran deal, seemingly disregarding the vital national security protections.
Prior to his Iran-related appointment by Secretary John Kerry, Mull was a Hillary Clinton aide who later appeared to cover up for the former presidential contender as her private email scandal unfolded. In testimony, Mull suddenly couldn’t “recall” anything having to do with Clinton’s use of a private email server, although he had emailed her discussing the matter just a few years prior.
Mull is a career civil service employee, which makes it almost impossible for the State Department to get rid of him (because of an outdated 19th century law that Congress can work to overturn). However, it is unclear why Secretary Rex Tillerson has decided to keep him working in the very same position, instead of utilizing Mull in a less prominent role.
Mull is just one of many staffers chosen by Tillerson to resume his duties as a prominent Obama holdover.
The State Department did not return a request for comment.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.
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