After Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed on Friday to end years of conflict, a former Director of National Intelligence is sounding the alarm over “disturbing” developments in the Middle East.
“The bottom line is China is stronger, Iran is stronger. The United States and Israel are weaker and the Middle East is weaker. It’s a tremendous development,” former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said on “Cavuto Live” Saturday.
Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to end years of hostility and resume diplomatic ties after previously undisclosed talks in Beijing between top security officials from the rival powers.
The two nations announced an agreement after four days of meetings that they would “restore diplomatic relations between them and reopen embassies and missions within two months.”
CHINA DIPLOMATIC SUCCESS IN IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA RECORRECTS AFTER SECRET MEETING IN BEIJING
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, center right, poses with Chinese President Xi Jinping, center left, and other Arab Gulf leaders, including Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, with the king. Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers of Oman Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, the Ruler of Fujairah of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Dr. Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf at the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday, December 9, 2022. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via AP) (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via AP)
Saudi Arabia and Iran also agreed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001, in addition to previous trade, economic and investment agreements. The Beijing talks concluded a series of talks in Iraq and Oman in 2021 and 2022.
Ratcliffe highlighted how relations with China and the Middle East have changed under the Biden administration.
“Think about where we were two years ago, the Abraham Accords, peace in the Middle East and an Iran that is poorer, weaker and less influential than ever. And the Saudis were likely to be the next participants. The Abraham Accords to improve relations with Israel,” he said.
“Just two years later, just think, because Joe Biden abandoned the Saudis, because they called them a pariah state, now they’ve normalized relations with Iran, a country they hate, a country they’ve been fighting for centuries, in a deal that everyone recognizes is our main adversary, China was the mediation of our first opponent.”
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The reports on Saudi Arabia-Iran relations came on the same day that Chinese President Xi Jinping won his third official five-year term as president.
The National People’s Congress voted 2,952 against to re-elect Xi, 69, and set him on course to remain in power for life.
The victory was unexpected for Xi, who has sidelined potential rivals and filled the top ranks of the ruling Communist Party with supporters since coming to power in 2012.
The restored ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran and Xi’s re-election come at a time when lawmakers and experts have warned of a growing threat from China.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an Iran expert, spoke to Fox News Digital and noted the importance of China’s role in brokering the deal, saying there is “greater interest” in regional politics. this will create a “deeper political network”.
Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former Defense Intelligence Agency official, told Fox News Digital that the deal presents “another indicator of the tectonic geopolitical shifts taking place in the world.”
Ratcliffe added that President Biden’s stance on China and his foreign policy are putting America’s national security at risk.
“(Biden) doesn’t want to take on China, like he hasn’t on any issue in the last two years. Whether it’s a million Americans dead from a virus or hundreds of thousands. Chinese fentanyl, flying espionage across our country, the Biden administration has China he wants to be a friendly competitor, and that’s not the case,” Ratcliffe said. “Intelligence is clear that China is what we warned.”
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“It sounds like a broken record here, but it comes back to this point about this administration’s foreign policy and Joe Biden getting it wrong time and time again.”
Fox News’ Peter Aitken and Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.
Madeline Coggins is a Digital Production Assistant on the Fox News flash team at Fox News Digital.