CIA director William Burns says ties between Russia, Iran undergo from “limits,” lack of belief

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CIA Director William Burns downplayed the utility of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current go to to Iran on Wednesday, saying an alliance between the 2 international locations can be restricted by their historic rivalry in vitality exports and an general lack of belief. 

“I feel beneath the pictures that that all of us noticed, the fact is that Russians and Iranians want one another proper now,” Burns mentioned. “Each federally sanctioned international locations, each seeking to escape of political isolation as effectively — but when they want one another, they do not actually belief one another, within the sense that they are vitality rivals and historic opponents.”  

Burns, who spoke on the annual Aspen Safety Discussion board in Aspen, Colorado, additionally acknowledged a declassified U.S. intelligence evaluation cited final week by nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan, who introduced throughout a White Home briefing that Russia was preparing to buy armed drones from the Iranian government.  

IRAN-RUSSIA-TURKEY-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY-SYRIA-CONFLICT
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier than a trilateral assembly on Syria with Turkish President in Tehran on July 19, 2022.

SERGEI SAVOSTYANOV/SPUTNIK/AFP through Getty Photographs


Moscow’s outreach to Tehran for army help was “a mirrored image, in some methods, of the deficiencies of Russia’s protection trade at present,” Burns mentioned, noting Russia had suffered vital losses in its warfare towards Ukraine.  

Burns, who, over a decades-long profession as a diplomat, served as U.S. ambassador to Russia and, as deputy secretary of state, helped pave the best way for the 2015 nuclear take care of the Iranians, acknowledged army cooperation between the 2 international locations was “troubling” however was skeptical about its long-term viability.  

“There are limits, I feel, to the methods by which they are going to have the ability to assist each other proper now,” he mentioned.  

Burns’ feedback adopted a uncommon go to by the Russian chief this week to the Iranian capital, the place Putin held talks with Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi, in addition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Khamenei later criticized the West for its hostility towards an “unbiased and robust” Russia and accused NATO of eager to wage warfare on Moscow. 

In a later change on Wednesday, Burns mentioned Putin’s “guess” in Ukraine was that he would achieve success in a war of attrition, sporting down the Ukrainian army and financial system and ready out waning resilience from Europe and america, at the same time as his personal army’s losses mounted. He mentioned assessments confirmed the Russians have misplaced an estimated 15,000 troopers, with triple that quantity wounded.

“Putin’s view of People is that we all the time undergo from consideration deficit dysfunction, and we’ll get distracted by one thing else,” Burns mentioned. “I feel — my very own robust view is — that Putin was fallacious in his assumptions about breaking the alliance and breaking Ukrainian will earlier than the warfare started. And I feel he is simply as fallacious now.” 

The CIA chief additionally dismissed persistent rumors about Putin’s well being, quipping that the Russian chief seemed to be “solely too wholesome.” He pressured that was a private view and never a proper evaluation made by the intelligence group.  

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