Three U.S. officials confirmed on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia shared intelligence with American officials that suggests Iran may be preparing for an imminent attack on the kingdom. (Iran maybe planning attack)
The Biden administration’s criticism of Iran for its crackdown on widespread protests and its condemnation of Iran for sending hundreds of drones and technical support to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine have raised concerns about a possible attack on Saudi Arabia.
The National Security Council stated in a statement, “We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact with the Saudis through military and intelligence channels.” We will not hesitate to defend our partners and interests in the region.
A credible threat of an attack existed, according to one official who confirmed the intelligence sharing, “soon or within 48 hours.” Based on the intelligence, no U.S. embassy or consulate in the region has issued warnings or direction to Americans in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the Middle East. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to make any public statements.
The Pentagon’s press secretary, Gen. Pat Ryder, stated that “the threat situation in the region” concerns U.S. military officials.
“In terms of what information they may have to provide on that front, we’re in regular contact with our Saudi partners,” Ryder stated. We have stated before, however, and I will reiterate it, that we will reserve the right to self-defense regardless of where our forces are stationed—whether in Iraq or elsewhere.” (Iran maybe planning attack)
The Saudis’ sharing of the information was first reported on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.
In 2019, the United States and Saudi Arabia asserted that Iran was responsible for a significant attack in eastern Saudi Arabia that halved the oil-rich kingdom’s production and spiked energy costs. The Iranians denied responsibility for the attack.
In addition, Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly struck in recent years by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels’ drones, missiles, and mortars in response to Saudi involvement in Yemen’s 2014 civil war. Saudi Arabia framed an alliance to fight the Houthis in 2015 and has been globally condemned for its airstrikes, which have killed scores of regular citizens.
Following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in September while being held by Iranian security forces, the Biden administration has imposed sanctions on Iranian officials for their brutal treatment of demonstrators. The administration has also imposed sanctions on Iran for providing Russia with drones for its war in Ukraine.
According to the group Human Rights Activists in Iran, the protests have resulted in the arrests of 14,000 people and the deaths of at least 270 people. Even though the feared paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has advised young Iranians to stop, demonstrations have continued.
After the alliance of oil-producing nations led by Riyadh, OPEC+, announced in October that it would reduce production by 2 million barrels per day beginning in November, U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia have also been strained.
In light of the move, the White House has stated that it is reevaluating its relationship with the Saudis. According to the administration, the reduction in production is actually assisting Russia, an additional OPEC+ member, in bolstering its finances as it continues its nine-month-old war in Ukraine. (Iran maybe planning attack)
John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, reiterated on Tuesday that the administration is still concerned about Iran providing Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.
Kirby stated, “We haven’t seen that concern bear out, but it’s a concern we have.”
The administration has not ruled out the possibility of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was mediated by the Obama administration and scrapped in 2018 by the Trump administration. This is despite the fact that the United States and others have raised concerns regarding nefarious Iranian actions.
On Monday, Robert Malley, the United States’ special envoy to Iran, stated that the administration was not currently focused on the deal, which has been in limbo since August.
Still, Malley stated that the administration “makes no apology” for “trying to do everything we can to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon” and refused to declare the deal dead. (Iran maybe planning attack)
The agreement, which is referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, stipulates that in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear program to what was stipulated in the 2015 agreement, the country will receive sanctions relief totaling billions of dollars. It restricts Iran’s use of sophisticated centrifuges, which are necessary for enrichment, as well as the amount of material it can store.
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