On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” former DNI Director John Ratcliffe stated that Iran’s attacks on Americans in the Middle East are a declaration from Iran that China — “the same China that flew a spy balloon” across the U.S. — has their back.

Ratcliffe said, [relevant remarks begin around 2:10] “I appreciate the fact that the Biden administration responded to the Iranian attacks. At least this time, unlike Afghanistan, where the response was to accidentally kill a van full of ten Afghan kids, this time, they at least hit their target. But they didn’t send the response that Secretary Austin believed that they would, because, as you pointed out, Pete, within hours, Iran fired off seven more rockets and [caused] more injuries to U.S. forces. Compare the same situation three years ago, when a U.S. contractor was killed, a proportionate response, sending the right message, was we decided to take out the head of the Iranian terror network, the Iranian Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani.”

Host Pete Hegseth then asked, “How much of this, by the way — you mentioned that new axis — or increased axis between China and Russia and they’ve both been willing to work with Iran. How much of these provocations are predicated on the fact that Iran feels like it has a shield now or at least new allies in town willing to back them up too?”

Ratcliffe responded, “Absolutely, Pete, that’s most of it. Essentially, what Iran is saying is look, you know who has our back? Our big brother bully China, who, by the way, the same China that flew a spy balloon across your country in front of all of your citizens a couple of weeks ago. … The Biden administration keeps saying, we’re not looking for conflict with Iran, we’re not looking for conflict with Russia, we’re not looking for conflict with China. That’s just Bidenspeak for saying, we’re not going to stand up for the United States of America and defend our people when we’re attacked.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett