The US is on high alert after receiving intelligence shared by Saudi Arabia that an attack by Iran on targets within its kingdom is imminent.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi and US officials said that Saudi Arabia, the US, as well as other neighboring countries have raised the level of alert for their military forces in the area.
Officials with Saudi Arabia said that Iran could carry out attacks on the country as well as in Erbil, Iraq, in an effort to distract from protests that have been occurring throughout the country since September, after a young woman died in police custody.
The White House National Security Council expressed concerns about the warnings, and said it was ready to respond if Iran carried out an attack.
"We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis," said a National Security Council spokesperson. "We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region."
Iran has struggled to quell unrest and protests that sparked after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in police custody on September 16. She was allegedly arrested for violating the country’s Islamic dress code, requiring women to cover their heads.
Since then, more than 200 people have been killed and over 1,000 arrested.
Iranian officials have blamed Iran’s foes for the unrest, including the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
Iran has attacked northern Iraq with dozens of ballistic missiles and armed drones since late September, one of which was on its way toward Erbil before it was shot down by a US warplane.
"Last month, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps publicly warned Saudi Arabia to rein in coverage of the protests in Iran by Farsi-language satellite news channels, including Iran International, a Saudi-backed satellite television channel based in London popular with many Iranians," the Wall Street Journal reported.
"This is our last warning, because you are interfering in our internal affairs through these media," said Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami at military drills in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. "You are involved in this matter and know that you are vulnerable."
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