US and Saudi Arabia worried Iran may attack Middle East Oil Facilities
An American official told that the United States and Saudi Arabia have exchanged intelligence suggesting that Iran is plotting an impending strike on energy infrastructure in the Middle East, notably in Saudi Arabia.
An unnamed Saudi official told that his country had warned the United States of a possible strike.
A second US official confirmed that American F-22 fighter jets are currently stationed in Saudi Arabia and ready to respond to any security concerns.
The first official stated that the United States has not increased its level of military security in the region since it is not believed that the United States military is a target. In a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States is “concerned about the threat picture” and is “in constant contact through military, diplomatic, intelligence channels with the Saudis.”
Price stated at a department briefing, “We won’t hesitate to act in defence of our interests and our partners in the region,” It was confirmed that “if we do have information that is precise, that is credible, that could potentially pose a threat to the American citizen community.” the State Department is obligated to inform citizens. He added that he was unaware of any public warnings issued through the embassy regarding a threat.
U.S. officials speculate that Iran is trying to deflect attention away from itself and onto Saudi Arabia, which Iran blames for stoking unrest in the region.
A possible Iranian attack was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The Pentagon is “concerned about the threat situation in the region” and is “in regular contact with our Saudi partners,” according to Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the press secretary for the Department of Defense. Ryder would not disclose whether or not there is a particular threat at this time.
After Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to the Saudi Arabia’s killing of a Shiite cleric in 2016, Riyadh severed official diplomatic relations with Tehran, making it its major regional foe. Recent attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, have heightened concerns that energy infrastructure may be a target of any Iranian provocations in the region.
The battle in Yemen between the Houthis and a Saudi-backed military coalition has been discussed at secret meetings between Saudi and Iranian officials in recent months. This month saw the breakdown of a fragile ceasefire between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which had been holding since the previous month.