Saudi Arabia has shared intelligence with American officials, warning of an attack from Iran on targets in the kingdom and Erbil in Iraq, according to a report in Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The planned attacks are aimed at taking away the focus from the protests that have swept Iran in recent weeks. These demonstration were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody for reportedly not wearing hijab. Since then, thousands of women have come out on roads without covering their heads or faces, challenging the Iranian government.
The WSJ spoke to an official of the White House National Security Council who said that the US is “concerned about the threat picture” and “officials remain in constant touch with the Saudis”.
The official, however, did not provide any details about the intelligence shared by the Saudi officials.
In response to the warning, the militaries of Saudi Arabia, the US and other countries in the Middle East have raised the alert levels.
Iran has blamed the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel for instigating the ongoing protests in the country. Last month, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps publicly warned Saudi Arabia to rein in the coverage of protests in Iran.
Iran has for the past six weeks been rocked by protests of a scale and nature unprecedented since the 1979 Islamic revolution, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September.
The authorities have warned protesters it is time to leave the streets but the demonstrations have shown no sign of abating, taking place in residential areas, major avenues and universities nationwide.
Thousands of people have been arrested nationwide in the crackdown on the protests, according to rights activists, while Iran’s judiciary has said 1,000 people have already been charged in connection with what it describes as “riots”.