WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Saudi Arabia has shared intelligence with the United States that Iran is preparing an imminent attack on the kingdom, three US officials said Tuesday.
The heightened concern about a possible attack on Saudi Arabia comes as President Joe Biden’s administration criticized Tehran for cracking down on mass protests and for sending hundreds of drones and technical aid to Russia for its war in Ukraine. condemned Iran.
“We are concerned about the threat scenario, and we are in constant communication with the Saudis through military and intelligence channels,” the National Security Council said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to act in defense of our interests and the interests of our allies in the region.”
Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did Iran’s mission to the United Nations.
One of the officials who confirmed the exchange of information described it as a credible attack threat “soon or within the next 48 hours”. No US embassy or consulate in the region has issued any warnings or recommendations to Americans based on intelligence in Saudi Arabia or anywhere in the Middle East. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the public.
When asked about the intelligence report shared by the Saudis, the Pentagon’s press secretary, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, said US military officials “are concerned about the threat situation in the region.”
“We are in constant contact with our Saudi partners regarding what information they will need to provide,” Ryder said. “But what we’ve said before, and I repeat, is that we will reserve our right to defend and defend ourselves, no matter where our forces are located, whether in Iraq or elsewhere.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States is “concerned about the threat scenario” but did not elaborate.
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday was the first to report on intelligence shared by the Saudis. Iran has claimed without providing evidence that Saudi Arabia and other rival countries are fueling Iranian discontent on the streets.