US media reported in February on the controversy surrounding the appointment of Robert Malley as the Biden Administration envoy to Iran. According to the New York Times report:
February 13, 2021 President Biden had managed to assemble his foreign policy team with remarkably little trouble — until last week. His picks to lead the State and Defense Departments, and to fill senior intelligence posts, drew little controversy and almost no Republican opposition. But a political crossfire erupted when the Biden administration announced the selection of Robert Malley to be its envoy for Iran. The choice of Mr. Malley, a longtime diplomat and conflict mediator, instantly resurrected a bitter Washington debate about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal abrogated by President Donald J. Trump and whether to restore it. It also inflamed the sensitive politics of Israel and, for good measure, served as a test case for the influence of progressives in Mr. Biden’s new foreign policy team.
Read the rest here.
The NYT goes on to describe some of the controversy surrounding Malley:
…Mr. Malley, the son of a Jewish Arab leftist, is a well-known advocate for engaging with groups and governments — including, over the years, Hamas, Hezbollah and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria — widely considered enemies of the United States and Israel and, by some, morally off limits for contact. To his critics, he is overly suspicious of American power and overly sympathetic to foreign actors including Iran and the Palestinians who have deep disputes with the West.
Malley had been an informal adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign but resigned after it emerged he had met with Hamas representatives while working for the International Crisis Group (ICG). To accept his current appointment, Malley stood down his role as ICG President & Chief Executive Officer after holding various posts at ICG for nearly two decades. During Malley’s tenure, the ICG was notably supportive of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. For example, in a 2017 report, the ICQ called the Muslim Brotherhood an “ideological and political counterweight to jihadism.” Other reporting by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch on the ICG, and the Global Muslim Brotherhood includes:
- A 2007 report on the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood connection of Al Jazeera General Manager Waddah Khanfar, a current ICG board member.
- A 2008 report that the ICG has recommended that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood be integrated into Egyptian political life.