Navy confiscates Iranian weapons in Arabian Sea

Feb. 14 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy earlier this week stopped a ship in the Arabian Sea believed to be bound for Yemen loaded with Iranian-made missiles and other weapons, U.S. Central Command said Thursday.

The USS Normandy made the maritime stop while on a security patrol in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.

“The weapons seized include 150 ‘Dehlavieh’ anti-tank guided missiles, which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs,” a statement from CENTCOM said.

The Navy also found three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes, and Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels, along with other munitions and advanced weapons parts.

“Many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019,” CENTCOM said.

“Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen, which would be in violation of a U.N. Security Council Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis,” CENTCOM said.

Iran has a long history of backing the Houthi rebels in their uprising against the Yemeni government that started in 2015. The government, backed by Saudi Arabia, has waged a civil war against the Houthis since the uprising.

More than 100,000 have been killed and some 4.3 million people have been displaced during the Yemen civil war, according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.