Tehran has warned regional Arab countries over a plan to launch an air defense system with the United States and Israel to confront Iran's missiles and drones.
Nour News, a website affiliated with the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani, said on Sunday that “the creation of a joint defense pact in the region by the US with participation and hidden management of Zionists is a threatening act.”
The United States said July 7 it is working to advance a partnership for air defense among Middle East allies to counter the growing missile threat from Iran.
Just before President Joe Biden’s trip to the region July 13, and his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and visit to Israel, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby speaking of the Middle East said, “What happens over there definitely affects us here at home.”
The plan to set up coordination between air defenses of Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and other allies goes back months, as The Wall Street Journal reported in June that a secret meeting took place between top military officers of the countries involved in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in March.
Representatives came from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan.
“If the implementation of such plans threatens the security of Iran in any way, it will face initial decisive response to the nearest and most accessible targets,” it tweeted.
Late on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman also said the plan to establish the integrated air defense system was provocative and “the Islamic Republic of Iran considers it a threat to its own national security as well as regional security.”
"The US comes up with such ideas without having a correct understanding of the region’s realities, and only with the purpose of fueling Iranophobia and creating division among the regional countries," said Naser Kanani.
Iran has been calling the United States the ‘great Satan’ and ‘world arrogance’ since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and has skipped many opportunities to re-establish diplomatic ties after they were broken in 1980 when its followers took dozens of American embassy workers hostage in Tehran.
The foreign ministry spokesman added that “Any measure to pave the way for the increased presence and role of the United States in regional security mechanisms will have no other outcome but insecurity, instability, and spread of terrorism across the region.”
The US and Israel are laying the groundwork with Arab states to use Israeli technology to connect their air defense systems to combat Iranian drone and missile threats.
Early in June, the US Senate and House Abraham Accords Caucus unveiled a bipartisan, bicameral effort as a united front against what it said is Iranian aggression in the Middle East.
The legislation proposes that the Pentagon work with Israel to integrate air defenses of six GCC countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates with Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq with the aim of thwarting threats from Iran and Iranian backed-militias across the region.
The Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses (DEFEND) Act is a joint effort by Congress to develop a strategy for signatories of the Abraham Accords and other countries to combat Iranian destabilizing activities threatening peace and security in the Middle East.