The State Department has announced Elliott Abrams will become the administration’s new special representative for Iran. Abrams will also continue as special representative for Venezuela, where he has led the Trump administration’s unsuccessful efforts to topple the Venezuelan government.
In 1991, Abrams was convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of Indigenous peoples in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 attempted coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
The peace group CodePink slammed Elliott Abrams’s new appointment, saying, “The dangerous conflict resulting from Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement will be exacerbated by a man committed to Washington’s failed policies of regime change.”