Monday, January 11, 2021
Burns also negotiated the nuclear deal
Biden wants Iran experts at the top of the CIA
In the Obama administration, William Burns was largely concerned with issues that are at the top of the foreign policy agenda of the new US President Biden: Russia and Iran. The top diplomat is to lead the secret service in the future.
Long-time US diplomat William Burns is to become the new CIA director. President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Burns to head the United States’ foreign intelligence agency, Biden’s staff announced. Burns served as a diplomat for 33 years.
Biden knows him especially well from his time as Vice President under Barack Obama. Burns was Assistant Secretary of State for several years. He led the US secret talks that paved the way for the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran. Between 2005 and 2008 he represented the USA as ambassador to Russia. He is currently chairman of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, a non-partisan think tank specializing in foreign affairs.
Burns is a crisis-tested civil servant who has worked in his career to ensure the safety of Americans, said Biden’s transition team, which is preparing the Democrats’ entry into the White House in a week and a half. The Senate must confirm that key positions have been filled. This also includes Burns’ appointment as CIA chief.
Russia and Iran will remain the focus of the CIA’s work. Relations between Washington and Moscow have been at a rock bottom for years. Iran, on the other hand, is considered to be the US archenemy. The outgoing President Donald Trump had unilaterally terminated the nuclear agreement – also against the resistance of the European contracting parties. Iran then scaled back its commitments. Since then, the agreement has been on the brink. Biden wants to bring the US back to the negotiating table.