Far-left billionaire George Soros has funneled more than $50 million to a network of Iran-sympathizer groups whose members have gained significant sway within the Biden White House — pushing to defang US sanctions on Tehran while advocating for a renewed nuclear deal.
A Post examination of Soros’ Open Society Foundations records shows the progressive kingmaker has given a staggering $46.7 million since 2016 to the International Crisis Group, a lefty think tank tied to an alleged Iranian plot to manipulate US policy.
Robert Malley, the former US special envoy to Iran now under FBI investigation for his alleged mishandling of classified material, was the ICG’s president until he joined the Biden administration in 2021.
“Soros has continually funded organizations that act as apologists for the Iranian regime – downplaying their severe human rights abuses while working to advance Iranian propaganda,” Gabriel Noronha of the Polaris National Security think tank told The Post.
Soros cash funded the ICG’s formation in 1994, and the billionaire was a trustee for years before handing the seat to his son and ideological heir Alexander Soros, 38, in 2018.
Three of Malley’s proteges were members of the Iran Experts Initiative, a covert network of Iranian-American academics established by Iran’s Foreign Ministry in 2014, according to Semafor.
Over the last decade, IEI members have worked their way into Washington’s foreign policy establishment — while subtly persuading US policymakers to ease sanctions on Tehran and accede to its nuclear ambitions.
“If you were a regime running a game plan of how to subvert the United States’ political system from within, this would be it to a tee,” Noronha said.
- Malley hired IEI co-founder Ariane Tabatabai as his top aide when Biden tapped him to lead the US team charged with negotiating a new nuclear deal with Tehran. Tabatabai then switched to a high-level job at the Pentagon with a top security clearance, where she remains, drawing Republican ire.
- Ali Vaez, another IEI member and currently the director of Iran projects at ICG, reportedly sent some of his writings to Iranian officials for pre-publication review. Vaez has scored five White House meetings with Biden’s top national security officials, visitor logs show.
- Malley hired Dina Esfandiary, a third IEI member, as a senior ICG advisor. In 2021, she and Vaez co-authored an essay cheering the election of Iran’s hardline president Ebrahim Raisi as “a real opportunity to make progress on the nuclear talks.”
Malley’s 2021 appointment coincided with the administration’s turn from former president Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iranian oil exports. Biden’s lax enforcement has reportedly earned the mullahs an estimated $95 billion.
In February 2023, Vaez scored two lengthy one-on-one meetings with Brett McGurk, Biden’s coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, while McGurk was secretly negotiating with his Iranian counterpart to restart the nuclear talks.
Soon after, the administration made a controversial deal to release $6 billion of frozen Iranian funds in exchange for five American hostages.
Meanwhile, Malley’s son, Blaise Malley, 25, works for an Iran-sympathizing think tank, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, that has also basked in Soros’ largesse — even after founder Trita Parsi was found by a US court to have been credibly accused of acting as “an advocate for the regime” through his nonprofit National Iranian American Council.
Since 2019, Soros has given Quincy — which says it advocates “restraint” in US foreign policy — $1.8 million, plus $100,000 to Parsi’s NIAC.
“NIAC and Quincy are the Russia Today of the Iranian Regime,” Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad wrote in 2022.
Soros’s cash has also indirectly flowed to Iran apologists via lefty groups like the Ploughshares Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
In 2021, for example, when OSF gave Ploughshares $300,000, Ploughshares in turn showered $225,000 — $75,000 each — on the ICG, NIAC Action, and the Quincy Institute.
This year, Ploughshares awarded Vaez a direct grant for an unspecified amount.
OSF and Soros have funneled more than $15 million since 2016 to groups behind recent pro-Hamas protests in the US, The Post has reported.
“We value the donations we receive from across the political spectrum and have always been transparent about that support on our website,” said Jessica Rosenblum of the Quincy Institute.
“I don’t know what either Soros’s vision is regarding Iran,” Noronha said. “But the things they routinely fund are things that weaken America, both internally and externally.”