Progressive Groups Push Biden to Tap Accused Iranian Lobbyist for Top National Security Role

Washington Free Beacon:

As an Iranian national, Trita Parsi probably cannot get security clearance, say experts

A coalition of progressive foreign-policy groups is pressing President-elect Joe Biden to hire an Iranian national accused of lobbying for the Islamist regime for a senior administration role that a non-U.S. citizen would likely be ineligible to hold.

As Biden forms his future cabinet, groups on the Democratic Party’s far-left flank are organizing to pressure him into hiring a roster of individuals who would typically be left out of the White House. The roster includes foreign-policy hands who have pushed for increasing American diplomacy with Iran and reducing cooperation between the United States and Israel. The list of more than 100 staff recommendations was first reported by Politico, which declined to publish it in full. The Washington Free Beacon obtained a full copy of the list.

Among the most notable selections by this coalition—which includes the Progressive Change Institute, Common Defense, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC)—is Trita Parsi, whom the list endorsed to oversee Middle East affairs on the White House National Security Council.

Parsi, NIAC’s cofounder, now serves as vice president of the Quincy Institute, an isolationist think tank bankrolled by billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch. Parsi has been one of the most visible champions of diplomacy with Iran and played a critical role in promoting the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal. His potential selection for a top national-security post in the Biden administration has raised eyebrows among regional experts and former U.S. officials, who told the Free Beacon that it is unlikely Parsi, who was as of 2013 identified as a dual Iranian-Swedish citizen, could hold a job that requires top-secret security clearance.

Parsi is a U.S. green-card holder as of 2013, according to multiple online biographies. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to obtain a security clearance.

“I find it highly unlikely that the CIA would be able to approve of a security clearance for him given his many connections to designated terrorists and the Iranian regime,” said one former National Security Council official.

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