The US government privately warned its long-time foe Iran about a "terrorist threat" within its borders ahead of a deadly attack this month that was claimed by the Islamic State militant group, a US official said on Thursday (Jan 25).
While the official said the warning about the Jan 3 attack was routine, analysts said it may imply a US effort to build trust with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Two suicide bombings in the southeastern city of Kerman killed nearly 100 people and wounded scores.
Such an effort would come against the backdrop of attacks by Iran-backed proxies on Western interests, including the Oct 7 Hamas rampage that killed some 1,200 in southern Israel and missile attacks on Saturday on an Iraqi air base housing US troops.
"The US government followed a longstanding 'duty to warn' policy that has been implemented across administrations to warn governments against potential lethal threats. We provide these warnings in part because we do not want to see innocent lives lost in terror attacks," said the US official on condition of anonymity.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the warning on Thursday.
Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East programme at the CSIS think tank in Washington, said the warning may reflect a wider US desire to seek dialogue with Iran despite recent attacks by Iranian-backed proxies on US, Israeli and other Western interests and the advances of Tehran's nuclear programme.