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CIA Chief in Israel to Discuss Iran

August 10, 2021

by: Janet Aslin

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CIA Director William Burns

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 | William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), arrived in Israel today for a three-day visit. During his stay he is expected to meet Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency) Director David Barnea and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, as well as other Israeli officials in the defense and intelligence fields.

Walla! News, a popular Hebrew language news site, was quoted in an i24news report: “The Israeli officials want to hear from Burns about what US policy will be toward the new government in Tehran with the recent swearing in of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as president.”

President Raisi is a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, fully committed to the militant theocracy that has ruled the nation since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Iran’s leaders have long used terrorism in an attempt to achieve their Shiite goal of a worldwide Caliphate (the reign of Islam).

Tensions in the Middle East have escalated recently with the July 29 drone attack on an oil products tanker operated by an Israeli-controlled company and last week’s firing of multiple rockets on northern Israel by Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy terror group. Although strong evidence suggests otherwise, Iran has denied any role in the drone attack.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Burns’ visit comes “amid reports that the US is considering alternative ways to get Iran to stop advancing its nuclear program as negotiations to return to the 2015 Iran deal stall.”

In the early days of the Biden administration, the United States participated in six rounds of indirect talks with Iran in an attempt to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the 2015 nuclear deal. Then-US President Donald Trump removed the United States from this agreement in 2018 and initiated harsh economic sanctions against Iran.

These talks have been on hold for the past two months, after Iranian negotiators left when the US did not agree to their demands to remove all sanctions immediately. The Iranians said they would return to the negotiations after the inauguration of President Ebrahim Raisi.

Burns is a veteran diplomat who served 33 years in the US Foreign Service. He has experience in the Middle East, having been US ambassador to Jordan and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, to name two of his prior appointments.

It has also been reported that Burns will visit Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, during his stay in Israel.

Posted on August 10, 2021

Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 10, 2021)

Photo Credit: Presidencia Peru/Flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

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