US warship seizes Yemen-bound vessel carrying weapons, missile parts from Iran

The US Navy destroyer USS Arleigh Burke in 2013 (Photo: US Navy/Petty Officer 1st Class RJ Stratchko)

The US State Department has confirmed that a vessel en route to Yemen with a cargo of weapons and missile parts believed to be intended for the country’s Houthi rebel militia was seized by a US Navy ship late last month.

In a press briefing on Thursday, December 5, Brian Hook, state department special representative for Iran, said that the crew of the unnamed American warship conducted a flag verification boarding of the suspect vessel in international waters off the coast of Yemen on November 25.

The boarding team found a significant quantity of weapons and missile components of Iranian origin aboard the suspect vessel. The seized items included components of anti-ship cruise missiles, land attack cruise missiles, air defence missiles, and anti-tank missiles.

Mr Hook said the recent discovery is “proof of Iran’s efforts to inflame conflicts in the region” through the proliferation of arms to its proxies in violation of a long-standing UN embargo.

The seizure was conducted with support from the US Coast Guard.

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