Report: Saudis Warn of 'Imminent' Attack by Iran

US is 'concerned about the threat picture'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2022 9:17 PM CDT
Report: Saudis Warn of 'Imminent' Attack by Iran
In this Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 photo, a police motorcycle and a trash bin burn during a protest in Iran.   (AP Photo)

Relations between Saudi Arabia and the US have cooled since the OPEC+ alliance decided to cut oil production last month—but the US is still concerned about potential Iranian attacks on the kingdom. The Wall Street Journal, citing US and Saudi officials, reports that the Saudis have shared intelligence with the US warning of an "imminent" attack on targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. According to Saudi officials, Iran plans to carry out attacks to take attention away from the protests that have been shaking the country since September—and to make good on threats to retaliate for the airing of protest coverage on Saudi-backed Farsi-language satellite news channels.

Sources tell the AP that the intelligence shared by the Saudis included a credible threat of an attack "soon or within 48 hours." A National Security Council spokesperson said the US is monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to respond if necessary. "We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis," the spokesperson said, per Reuters. "We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region."

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, echoed the NSC statement. "We’re in regular contact with our Saudi partners, in terms of what information they may have to provide on that front," Ryder told reporters. "But what we’ve said before, and I’ll repeat it, is that we will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving, whether in Iraq or elsewhere." The administration has already placed sanctions on Iranian officials in response to the harsh crackdown on protests and the delivery of Iranian drones for Russia to use in Ukraine.

(Read more Iran stories.)

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