Jason Greenblatt
Jason GreenblattReuters

Jason Greenblatt, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations, told Fox News in an interview that Iran is the biggest threat to the Middle East and the core conflict in the region is no longer the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

“Iran is the core conflict in the region. I’m not sure the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ever was the core conflict in the region. It certainly is not the core conflict of the region now, and the President is working hard to figure out how to protect everybody from Iran – our allies in the region, not just Israel [but also] Saudi Arabia and the Emirates,” he said.

“The Palestinians are just as under threat from Iran as everybody else,” Greenblatt pointed out. “In fact, I would argue it’s probably Iran’s worst nightmare for success on this Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Greenblatt’s comments come amid escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

Last week, Iran test fired of a Shehab-3 medium-range ballistic missile last week. A US official told Fox News said the missile flew more than 600 miles from the southern part of the country to an area outside the capital, Tehran.

An Iranian official later insisted that his country’s ballistic missiles are defensive, and not offensive, in nature.

Other incidents in past weeks have threatened security in the Strait, through which one-fifth of all globally traded crude oil passes. Most prominently, Iranian forces shot down a US surveillance drone of the Strait of Hormuz last month, claiming it had violated Iranian airspace.

Last week, President Donald Trump said that a US ship "destroyed" an Iranian drone – a claim denied by Iran.