CIA Director William Burns. Photo/REUTERS
WASHINGTON – CIA Director William Burns told Saudi officials the United States was caught off guard after the kingdom agreed to a China-brokered normalization deal with Iran.
The news was disclosed by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
During a surprise trip to Saudi Arabia this week, Burns “expressed frustration” with Riyadh and said Washington was “feeling blindsided” by its newfound diplomacy with Iran and Syria.
This was revealed by several unnamed sources who told the WSJ on Thursday (6/4/2023).
The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia held talks in the Chinese capital on Thursday.
They discussed a number of issues relating to the new initiative, including the reopening of embassies in the two countries, the appointment of ambassadors, and even a visit to Riyadh by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
After years of wrangling as regional foes, Tehran and Riyadh finalized a normalization pact on March 10 following secret talks mediated by Beijing.
Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume formal diplomatic relations after they severed ties in 2016.
The deal marks a major diplomatic achievement for China and a landmark shakeup in Middle East geopolitics.