Biden’s State Department ‘Defending’ Iranian Nuclear Diplomacy After Negotiator ‘Quits’

Joe Biden’s State Department has been forced to defend its diplomatic approach with Iran after a vital team member negotiating a renewed nuclear deal quit last week over disagreements over concessions being offered to the regime.

Richard Nephew resigned as Biden’s deputy special envoy for Iran, citing a “sincere difference of opinion” in a tweet he posted Tuesday. After leaving the Iran post in December, he worked at the State Department until resigning from government service last week.

A spokesman for the State Department told the Washington Free Beacon that the media have overblown nephew’s disagreements with the Administration. The spokesman said there was no “cartoonish divide” between team members over how harsh or mild to treat the Iranians.

It was reported that Nephew favored a more rigid stance with Tehran, leading to conflicts with the top Iran envoy Robert Malley. Nephew did not provide specific details about disagreements with Malley, saying only in his tweets that his views have been mischaracterized and that he will not convey details in public because of the ongoing negotiations with Iran.

Nephew’s resignation caused commotion among Washington’s foreign policy community, leading many to suggest that the Biden Administration is preparing to enter an agreement significantly weaker than the original nuclear agreement reached in 2015 during the Obama Administration.

Many Republican lawmakers are warning that any new nuclear deal will do little to deter the Iranians from moving forward with its plans to develop nuclear weapons since no severe sanctions will be included.

The State Department praised Nephew for his service and refused to disclose its “internal policy discussion details.”

A group of Republican lawmakers signed a February 4 letter accusing Malley and the State Department of forcing Nephew to remain silent because of his opposing opinions on the Iranian negotiations. The letter asked Malley to agree to appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, adding that Malley is “forcing out those who disagree with him.”

Malley’s conduct has caused great concern among most Republicans regarding the nature of a new Iranian deal and whether the Biden White House intends to attempt entering an agreement without Congressional approval.