Reports indicate remnants of President Obama's Iran policy team in the State Department, known for its penchant for appeasement toward Tehran, have maintained a presence, albeit residual, in President Trump's administration.
This issue is of special concern as these individuals have a history of close ties to the regime in Tehran and a notorious Iranian lobbying group in the United States.
Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who formerly served as the Iran director of the National Security Council during Obama's tenure, has managed to find herself a position in the administrative team working under Trump.
While enjoying access to the White House in the past, Nowrouzzadeh is now head of the State Department's policy planning staff focusing specifically on Iran and the flashpoint Persian Gulf region which Tehran has used as a stage recently to raise tensions with Washington.
Nowrouzzadeh is known for the time she worked as an employee for the National Iranian-American Council, a lobbying group cloaking its objectives under a nonprofit banner, and yet having established long-lasting and obvious ties to the senior ranks of the Iranian regime.
As I shed light in a previous Washington Examiner piece, "Organizations like NIAC, an Iran lobby deeply tied to Tehran, suggest that communication channels created between the Obama administration and Iran paved the way for a nuclear deal that prevented a war with the country…"
Trita Parsi, founder and current president of NIAC, is known for his very close relations with specific individuals in Tehran's ruling and decision-making circles. Following Trump's victory back in November, a variety of Iranian dissidents have made calls for an overhaul of U.S.-Iran policy, and specifically requested an investigation by Congress into NIAC's links to the regime in Tehran.
Promoting various initiatives aimed at pushing the Iran deal forward was one of Nowrouzzadeh's main tasks during her role in Obama's White House team. Serving as Obama's NSC Iran desk director, Nowrouzzadeh had access to senior-level meetings where Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Secretary of State John Kerry heard briefings about the Iran deal possibilities.
It was in such meetings where senior White House staff blue-printed how to actually present the Iran deal as an acceptable and digestible issue to the American public. Such platforms included the false narrative campaign, known as the 'echo-chamber' method, used to sell the JCPOA through a positive spectrum not only to the American people, but the international community.