But Mr. Malley, the son of a Jewish, Arab leftist, is a well known advocate for participating with teams and governments — together with, over time, Hamas, Hezbollah and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria — broadly thought of enemies of the United States and Israel and, by some, morally off limits for contact. To his critics, he’s overly suspicious of American energy and overly sympathetic to overseas actors together with Iran and the Palestinians who’ve deep disputes with the West.
As Mr. Biden’s level man for Iran, accountable for reining in its increasing nuclear program, these critics concern, Mr. Malley will press for a brand new cope with Tehran that can concede an excessive amount of to its clerical rulers within the identify of reconciliation. When phrase of his appointment first appeared within the information media, Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, condemned “radicals like Malley” who, he mentioned, holds “a long track record of sympathy for the Iranian regime” and “animus towards Israel.”
Other opponents of negotiating with Iran expressed concern in additional temperate phrases. “The appointment of Rob Malley may be a clear indication that the Biden administration is prioritizing a return to the J.C.P.O.A. over a policy of deploying American power to get a more compressive and permanent agreement,” mentioned Mark Dubowitz, the chief govt of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal, generally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which he has lengthy opposed. “Malley is not a believer in American power,” he added.
Defenders of Mr. Malley, whose place doesn’t require Senate affirmation, say that he has change into a handy goal for a gap salvo from the American and Israeli proper meant to warn the Biden administration towards making an attempt too laborious to work with Tehran on one other nuclear deal just like the 2015 settlement that grew to become probably the most bitter overseas coverage battles of the Obama years.
“Most of the judging of Rob comes from people who do not know him and who choose to believe that he has no conception of American national interests, and that it’s all about trying to find a way at any costs to reconcile with our enemies,” mentioned Aaron David Miller, a Middle East peace negotiator below a number of presidents who labored with and is near Mr. Malley.