Three U.S. officials said Tuesday that Saudi Arabia has shared information with them that suggests Iran is preparing for an attack on the kingdom.
As the Biden administration condemns Tehran for sending hundreds of drones to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine, there is heightened concern about a possible attack on Saudi Arabia.
The National Security Council said in a statement that they are concerned about the threat and are in constant contact with the Saudis. We will act to defend our interests in the region.
Requests for comment from Saudi Arabia were not responded to. Iran's mission to the UN didn't happen.
One of the officials who confirmed the intelligence sharing said it was a credible threat. In the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, no U.S. embassy has issued warnings to Americans based on intelligence. The officials were not authorized to speak on the record.
The Pentagon press secretary said the US military is concerned about the threat in the region.
We are in regular contact with our Saudi partners about what information they may have to give us. We will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving.
Ned Price said America was worried about the threat picture.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Saudis are sharing intel. Saudi Arabia and other rivals are fomenting the dissent of ordinary Iranians, according to Iran.
Iran International is a London-based, Farsi-language satellite news channel once owned by a Saudi national.
Iran was blamed by the U.S. and Saudis for an attack in eastern Saudi Arabia that halved the kingdom's production and caused energy prices to go up. The same triangle-shaped, bomb-carrying drones used in the attack on Iran are being used by the Russians in their war on Ukraine.
The Saudis have been hit by missiles and drones in the past. The international community has criticized Saudi Arabia for its airstrikes in the war which have killed scores of civilians.
The Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iranian officials after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the morality police. Iran has been hit with sanctions for providing drones to Russia.
According to the group Human Rights Activists in Iran, at least 288 people have been killed in the protests. Even though the Revolutionary Guard has warned young Iranians to stop, demonstrations continue.
At least 16 people, including an American citizen, were killed in Iran's attacks on Kurdish positions in northern Iraq.
The relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia deteriorated after the Riyadh-led alliance of oil producing nations decided to cut production.
The White House is reviewing its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Russia is benefiting from the production cut as it continues its war in Ukraine, according to the administration.
John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said on Tuesday that the administration is concerned that Iran may give Russia surface-to- surface missiles.
Kirby said that they have a concern about it.
The administration has not ruled out the possibility of reviving the Iran nuclear deal, which was brokered by the Obama administration and was scrapped by the Trump administration.
Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy to Iran, said on Monday that the administration wasn't focused on the deal at the moment.
The administration made no apology for trying to do everything they could to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, even though the deal is dead.
Iran was given billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for rolling back its nuclear program. There are limits on the amount of material Iran can have and on the number of advanced Centrifuges needed to enrich.
Jon Gambrell is an Associated Press writer.