As widespread anti-government protests continue to rage in the streets of Iran, leaders of the Islamic Republic seemingly seek a deadly distraction.
According to The Wall Street Journal, that distraction could come in the form of potential terrorist attacks on multiple U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The outlet was told by officials from both countries that attacks could be “imminent.”
“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we are in constant contact through military, diplomatic & intelligence channels with the Saudis,” said @StateDeptSpox. “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.” #Iran #SaudiArabia https://t.co/ROJEhuhPTs pic.twitter.com/zMkg9M7eQ2
— VOA Nike Ching (@rongxiang) November 1, 2022
During a Tuesday news conference, Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters that “the threat situation in the region” has American officials “concerned,” according to a report by Fox News.
Ryder didn’t go into specifics, other than to say “We will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving, whether in Iraq or elsewhere.”
According to Reuters, a spokesperson from the National Security Council echoed those statements on Tuesday, vowing to “not hesitate” to respond to any attack led by Iranian forces on U.S. interests.
“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis,” the NSC spokesperson told Reuters. “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”
The threat intelligence from Saudi Arabian officials comes in the wake of Iran threatening Saudi media companies over their coverage of the Iran protests. Specifically, Iran doesn’t want the protests to be shown on Farsi news stations in Saudi Arabia, Fox News reported.
Iran blamed the current protest movement on the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to the report.
“This is our last warning because you are interfering in our internal affairs through these media,” Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said in remarks reported by Iranian state media, according to Fox. “You are involved in this matter and know that you are vulnerable.”
#IRGC’s head Hossein Salami to Saudi Arabia: “alongside this young (men) we’ll come after you and take a revenge.”
(This is Salami’s 2nd warning in a month to Al Saud) pic.twitter.com/TAyw1M5Lq9
— Fereshteh Sadeghi فرشته صادقی (@fresh_sadegh) October 29, 2022
Salami has also issued some of his starkest warnings yet to Iranians taking part in the widespread protests, threatening that Saturday would be their “last day.” That deadline has passed, and protesters largely ignored the warning, which some say could explain why Iran is seeking to change the narrative with possible terrorist attacks.
Hossein Salami, head of Iran’s IRGC delivered a speech warning protesters that their time is up as they will be subjected to a more severe crackdown. This was followed by a brutal attack on Universities with tear gas and open fire. The int’l community has remained silent on this. pic.twitter.com/HGNBwQuMBK
— IOPHR (@IOPHRpress) October 31, 2022
The latest threat report lends credence to a CBS News report from March in which it was revealed that Iran is a threat to American interests, both directly and via proxy. The data came from the 2022 Annual Threat Assessment published at the time by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
That report came at a time when hints of renewed nuclear deal negotiations between the U.S. and Iran were being considered. The CBS report specifically noted that Iran’s threat to the West, and particularly the United States, wouldn’t derail nuclear deal talks.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the time, “We were very clear when we were in the deal originally that nothing about the deal prevents us from taking action against Iran when it’s engaged in actions that threaten us, threaten our allies and partners. That will very much continue.”
The Journal noted that the United States, Saudi Arabia and several unspecified neighboring countries have all raised their military alert levels in the wake of the renewed Iranian threats.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.