A top U.S. State Department official who helped broker the Iran nuclear deal was demoted and reassigned after right-wing media outlets questioned her loyalty to U.S. President Donald Trump, media are reporting.
Politico.com and other media reported that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who has worked since July as an adviser to the secretary of state on Iran and Persian Gulf matters, earlier this month was sent back to the department's Office of Iranian Affairs after her loyalties were questioned by Breitbart.com and the Conservative Review.
Politico said Nowrouzzadeh, an American born in the United States to parents of Iranian descent, was transferred against her will. She joined the government in 2005 when George W. Bush was president.
The department said in a statement that Nowrouzzadeh "has an outstanding reputation" and "we expect her to continue to do valuable work in furtherance of U.S. national security."
Conservative media had attacked Nowrouzzadeh as an "Obama loyalist" and for her work as an intern at the National Iranian-American Council, an advocacy group that they charge has links to the Iranian government.
While U.S. law protects career government employees from politically motivated firings, it is not illegal for incoming administrations to reassign them.