Iran planning attacks on American targets, Saudis warn

The intelligence information comes after the top American negotiator for the nuclear deal says the administration won’t “waste time” on continuing the talks.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Saudi Arabia has warned the United States that Iran is actively planning attacks on American targets in its country, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Monday.

In response to the threat, the U.S. military has raised the levels of alertness on its bases throughout the Middle East, and several of their host countries in the region have done the same, Saudi and American officials said.

While no further details were provided on the intelligence coming from Riyadh, a National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson said it was “concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis.”

According to the report, the NSC also issued a warning to Tehran, stating, “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”

Riyadh fears that Iran could try to hit U.S. bases either in the Kingdom or in Iraq in order to divert attention from the protests sweeping the country, the report added.

The mullahs have been dealing with demonstrations all over the country since a young Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, was beaten to death in September by the modesty police for not having worn her hijab (head covering) properly. Dissident groups say over 400 people have been killed and over 14,000 arrested in the government’s attempts to repress the protests.

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The intelligence information also comes in parallel to American comments that the administration won’t “waste time” on trying to restore negotiations on a renewed nuclear deal with Iran due to its crackdown its citizens and the weapons it is providing Russia to help it in its invasion of Ukraine.

Washington envoy to the nuclear talks Robert Malley had made the statement while addressing a virtual event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Monday. “We are taking action” against the Islamic Republic, which had not “tied the administration’s hands because of … this hope that someday maybe there’ll be a deal,” he said.

The U.S. Treasury has slapped sanctions in recent weeks on dozens of specific Iranians and entities that are “brutally” suppressing the protests, committing human rights abuses and “disrupting digital freedom” by “surveilling and throttling the use of the internet” so the anti-government activists cannot coordinate easily with each other.

These include commanders in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and prison heads, political leaders of provinces where some of the worst violence against protestors have taken place, and computer companies assisting the government in cyber censorship.

Regarding Iran’s growing coziness with Moscow, an Associated Press report Tuesday said that Tehran is organizing another delivery of 1,000 airborne weapons in addition to the 1,500 drones that Kyiv, according to Russia, has already received – hundreds of which have already been used to attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. These will include short-range, surface-to-surface missiles as well as kamikaze UAV’s, the report said.