An aide to former President Bill Clinton queried the State Department in 2012 on whether he might be able to give a paid speech to a group tied to the Iranian government that has lobbied against all U.S. sanctions against Tehran, according to news reports Tuesday.
The request from the aide, Ami Desai, came in a June 4, 2012, email while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Fox News reports.
The next month, Hillary Clinton aide Jake Sullivan began secret talks with Iranian officials that ultimately led to the nuclear deal.
"Would USG have any concerns about WJC doing a paid speech for [the] National Iranian American Council ('NIAC')?" Desai wrote in the email obtained by Fox. "We have been approached by the National Iranian American Council ('NIAC') for President Clinton to speak at a fundraising gala they are putting on."
Fox obtained the document via a lawsuit by Citizens United President David Bossie. Besides Sullivan, the query was also sent to State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.
Bill Clinton ultimately ended up not making the speech, an official in the former president's office told Fox.
"As we've said before, as a matter of course, all requests were run by the State Department," the official said. "And most importantly, ultimately, the president did not give this speech."
According to Fox, the National Iranian American Council is a nonprofit group that was founded in 2002. It has denied being a lobbyist for Iran, though the organization has spoken out against the U.S. sanctions.
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