CIA director William Burns voiced his concern about the fragile state of affairs with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the current tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority could soon lead to a third intifada.
Burns two weeks ago returned from a trip to the region, where he met Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington D.C, Burns said that conversations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas "left me with doubts and concerns."
"I was a senior diplomat during the Second Intifada, and now we see some unhappy reminders of what we saw then. Part of the responsibility of the CIA is to work closely with both Israeli and Palestinian security services to prevent a violent uprising. It's a big challenge.
"The biggest lesson I've learned in all my years in the Middle East is to always have humility. Too often the United States has strolled in thinking we can alter regions of the world we don't understand. Perhaps we could disengage from the Middle East, but that region has the bad tendency of keeping us involved."
Burns also addressed concerns regarding the massive wave of protests in Iran. "The regime, the protests, the courage of Iranian women who are tired of corruption and political oppression. None of this is about Americans, but about Iranians and their future.
"The police can oppress the local population only briefly, but are unable to give the sort of answers that younger Iranians, which constitute 70% of the population, are looking for."
With regards to Iran supplying Russia with drones to attack Ukraine, he said: "A few weeks ago I spent 30 hours in Kyiv, six of which inside bomb shelters, since there were two Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure."
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