US names Robert Malley as Iran Envoy for Nuclear Negotiations

US President has named Robert Malley, a veteran Middle East expert, and former Obama administration official, to be his special envoy for Iran, two senior State Department officials said Thursday night.

Iran PressAmerica: Mr. Malley will be responsible for persuading Tehran to stop enriching uranium and agree to new negotiations, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Iran has repeatedly said it will not come back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord until the United States eases its sanctions, setting up a high-stakes contest over which side will blink first.

Returning to the nuclear deal, which the Obama administration negotiated, was among US President Joe Biden’s campaign promises after President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018.

Mr. Malley currently runs the International Crisis Group in Washington, a conflict resolution organization. He was selected despite charges from conservatives that he would offer too many concessions in the interest of striking any possible deal. His appointment was earlier reported Thursday by Reuters.

The first official said Mr. Malley and other diplomats would initially consult with leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and Congress to ensure that any new negotiations would reflect their concerns and insights.

Mr. Malley will oversee a team of negotiators and experts who will bring what Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken described on Wednesday as “differing perspectives” to the issue.

A public statement supporting his appointment, signed by dozens of foreign policy experts and former US officials, called Mr. Malley “among the most respected foreign policy experts in the United States” and an “astute analyst and an accomplished diplomat.”

Mr. Malley, who does not require Senate confirmation, will be based at the State Department and report to Mr. Blinken, with whom he went to high school in Paris.


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