The United States is concerned about threats from Iran against Saudi Arabia, according to a White House spokesperson. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Saudi government shared intelligence with the United States warning of an imminent attack from Iran on targets in the kingdom.
The Saudi government media office did not immediately respond to Reuters‘ request for comment. On October 20, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief Hossein Salami issued a warning to Saudi leaders not to rely on Israel or their ‘glass palaces.’ In 2020, Saudi Arabia authorized two of its Gulf allies to become allies with Israel, creating a new anti-Iran regional axis, in addition to launching direct talks with Tehran in an attempt to contain tensions in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for a missile and drone assault on its oil plants in 2019, an allegation Iran denies. It has backed allies fighting proxy wars in the Middle East for decades. The country’s alliance with Riyadh has been strained since the Saudi-led OPEC alliance reduced oil output targets last month, resulting in fears of a gasoline price spike in the United States.
In the United States, the executive branch urged the White House to freeze all cooperation with Riyadh, including weapons sales. Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the United States for its protection. Iran has provided Russia with drones for its war with Ukraine, prompting the United States to abandon efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump terminated in 2018.
Image Credit: Lisa Ferdinando/U.S. Secretary of Defense