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The United States and Saudi Arabia fear that Iran is planning an attack on energy infrastructure in the Middle East



CNN

The United States and Saudi Arabia have shared intelligence indicating that Iran may be planning an imminent attack on energy infrastructure in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, a US official told CNN.

A Saudi official told CNN that Saudi Arabia was sharing information about a possible attack with the United States, but the source gave no details.

A second US official said US F-22 fighter jets already in Saudi Arabia are available to counter any threat.

The first official said there had been no increase in US military protection levels in the region, as the US military is not seen as a target. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday that the United States was “concerned about the threat image” and “in constant contact through military, diplomatic and intelligence channels with the Saudis.” .

“We will not hesitate to act to defend our interests and our partners in the region,” Price said during a department briefing. He said he was not aware of any public warning issued by the Embassy about a threat and confirmed that the State Department is required to notify citizens “if we have specific information , credible, likely to pose a threat to the community of American citizens.

The United States believes Iran may be trying to draw attention to Saudi Arabia, which Iran accuses of helping fuel the protests, sources said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that there were indications of a potential Iranian attack.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder did not confirm whether there is a specific threat currently, but said the Pentagon remains “concerned about the threat situation in the region” and is “in regular contact with our Saudi partners.”

Iran is Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival and Riyadh severed official diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to the execution by Iran. Saudi Arabia of a Shia cleric. Iran-backed Houthi rebels have also attacked oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent years, raising fears that energy infrastructure could be the target of any Iranian provocation in the region.

Saudi and Iranian officials have met quietly in recent months to discuss security issues, including the war in Yemen between the Houthis and a Saudi-backed military coalition. But a fragile truce between the parties expired last month, leading to a further upsurge in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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