State Department approved anti-Trump articles by pro-Iran deal official

· March 19, 2018  
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Sahar Nowrouzzadeh and John Kerry
Sahar Nowrouzzadeh and John Kerry. Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. State Department under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vetted and approved the publication of fiercely anti-Trump news articles written by a current State Department official, Conservative Review has learned.

On October 13 in the White House, President Trump announced that he had ordered a complete strategic review concerning the United States’ Iran policy.

“Today, I am announcing our strategy, along with several major steps we are taking to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions and to ensure that Iran never, and I mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon,” the president announced, setting a major course change from the Obama administration’s appeasement-minded policies.

That didn’t sit well with State Department official Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who has invested much of her career defending the Obama administration’s Iran deal. She co-authored an article targeting her new boss’s Iran policy in an article for Foreign Affairs titled, “Trump’s Dangerous Shift on Iran.”

A State Department spokesperson told Conservative Review that the article was “reviewed by the State Department,” pointing to legal restrictions that highlight the three circumstances in which a State Department employee is denied permission to publish:

  1. If it contains classified information;
  2. If it contains information not releasable under FOIA (e.g., protected employee information, law enforcement information, etc.);
  3. If it is highly likely to result in serious adverse consequences to the efficiency or mission of the Department.

The State Department signed off on an article that directly challenged the president’s policy objectives, yet did not find that a piece targeting his foreign policy could result in “adverse consequences” to the mission of the State Department.

The anti-Trump article was one of several written by Nowrouzzadeh, an Obama holdover who  played an integral role in advancing the Iran nuclear deal between the Obama administration and the terrorist regime in Tehran.

In December, she co-authored a piece titled: “This is why Trump’s strategy for Iran will fail.” Again, given her continuing role as a government employee, this piece also had to be reviewed by the State Department before being cleared for publication.

She was reassigned to a different department inside the State Department after a Conservative Review article detailed her investment in the Iran deal and noted that she continued to serve as an official covering Iran policy in the State Department under Secretary Tillerson. Conservative Review also found that Nowrouzzadeh has close ties to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a Washington, D.C. lobbying group that is extremely cozy with the Iranian regime. During the Obama years, Nowrouzzadeh was promoted to the National Security Council’s director for Iran, where she worked side by side with John Kerry and other top administration officials on the Iran deal.

Nowrouzzadeh’s determined anti-Trump posture has raised a national spotlight on the civil service protections granted to government bureaucrats. Career government officials can attack the president in national media and still retain their positions in government. In fact, Conservative Review has found other instances in which Trump State Department officials have attacked the president in a public forum and faced little or no consequence for their actions. Even given their public assaults on the commander in chief, it is extremely difficult to fire government bureaucrats. Even if they commit great offenses, civil service employees are guaranteed a lengthy review process that puts a heavy burden on the American taxpayer.

The State Department is one of the most partisan government agencies, if not the most. According to Federal Election Commission data, over 99 percent of 2016 campaign contributions from State Department employees went to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

After the State Department confirmed that it was involved in the review process for the Nowrouzzadeh articles, it failed to respond to multiple inquiries about which State Department office, and which official specifically, signed off on the series of anti-Trump articles written by a government employee.


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Author: Jordan Schachtel

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review and editor of The Dossier for CRTV. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.