US troops seized Iranian-manufactured weapons from a sailboat in the Arabian Sea.The US Central Command said the shipment was likely headed to Yemen, and included anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and other “advanced weapons parts”.
US officials said that navy personnel from the US cruiser Normandy boarded the vessel in accordance with international law. They also published a video which showed the troops boarding the vessel without apparent resistance.
“The weapons seized include 150 ‘Dehlavieh’ anti-tank guided missiles,” which are “Iranian-manufactured copies” of similar Russian-made weapons, US officials said, adding that many of the seized weapons were “identical” to those seized in a raid by the US in the Arabian Sea in November.
Other weapons allegedly included Iranian-made surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging scopes, ammunition as well as “Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels”.
“Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen”, the US Central Command said. A UN resolution bans Iran from selling weapons outside the country without authorization.
A separate UN document also bans supplying weapons to the Houthi leaders. The US accuses Iran for backing the Houthis in their fight against Yemen’s Saudi-backed government. The Houthi rebels have used drones and surface vessels to attack Saudi forces in the past, using equipment that the US says comes from Iran.