Saudi Arabia sharing intel with US suggesting attack by Iran is imminent, report

Saudi Arabia says attack would be to divert attention from demonstrations over death of woman for allegedly violating Iran's hijab law.
Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia, April 16, 2018

Saudi Arabia is reportedly sharing intelligence with U.S. officials suggesting Iran could be getting ready for an imminent attack. 

The sharing of information was reported by ABC News, based on information from three U.S. officials Tuesday. 

Saudi Arabia says such an attack would be an attempt to divert attention from large human rights protests in the Iran. The street protests were sparked by the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in the custody of the government's so-called morality police for allegedly violating the country's mandatory jihab law. 

Iran also will carry out attacks in Erbil, Iraq, according to the news outlet The Foreign Desk.

Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the United States is "concerned about the threat situation in the region" but has not changed its position about such matters.

"What we've said before, and I'll repeat it, is that we will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving, whether in Iraq or elsewhere," he said.

While Saudi Arabia attempts to make the case that Iran is trying to deflect from the internal and international opposition to alleged human rights violations, the country is considered among the worst in the world for such violations – torturing and killing those who oppose the government. 

Human rights watchdog groups report 120 executions so far this year in Saudi Arabia, including the death of 81 men in a mass execution in March.

The kingdom also announced its intelligence assessment amid its battle with Iran-backed Houthi rebels.