The New York Times reports on the resignation of Brian Hook, who will be replaced by none other than Elliott Abrams:
Mr. Hook will be succeeded by Elliott Abrams, a conservative foreign policy veteran and Iran hard-liner who is currently the State Department’s special representative for Venezuela.
As the administration’s special envoy, Hook had no success in gaining support from other governments for the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. His brief stint as a negotiator with our European allies yielded nothing, and when he was trying to negotiate with them Trump famously had no idea who he was. He mostly served as one of the administration’s leading propagandists. He was responsible for lies about Yemen, cringe-inducing video messages, promoting the administration’s weird fixation with Cyrus the Great, and embarrassing historical revisionism about the 1953 coup. When he wasn’t trying to bribe ships’ captains to steal Iranian cargo, he was insulting our intelligence with phony claims of wanting to normalize relations with Tehran. Last year he came under fire from the State Department’s Inspector General for his role in the mistreatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was the target of political retaliation at the department on account of her support for the JCPOA and at least partly because of her Iranian heritage. Hook is described in the Times‘ report as a “survivor,” but they neglect to mention that the reason he has survived so long in the Trump administration is his cowardice.
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the coverage of Hook·s resignation is that it is framed as somehow undermining the chances of diplomacy with Iran.