U.S. boosts warship fleet in Yemeni waters
The warships have no specific mission to intercept an Iranian arms shipment in the area, an official said
The U.S. Navy sent on Monday two warships to waters near Yemen to conduct maritime security operations, Reuters news agency reported citing a defense official.
The warships have no specific mission to intercept an Iranian arms shipment in the area, the official added amid reports of an Iranian convoy of eight vessels carrying arms in the area.
The U.S. Navy sent the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and escort cruiser USS Normandy from the Gulf into the Arabian Sea on Sunday. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, denied reports the ships were on a mission to intercept Iranian arms shipments to Yemen.
However, navy officials told the Associated Press (AP) that the American ships are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi militias in Yemen.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ship movement on the record, AP reported.
The Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea amid reports that a convoy of about eight Iranian ships is heading toward Yemen and possibly carrying arms for the Houthis.
The deployment of the two ships brings the total number of American ships in the area to nine, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment specifically on any Navy movements in Yemeni waters, but said the U.S. has concerns about Iran's “continued support for the Houthis.”
“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East.”
“The Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons,” he told AP.
Iran presents Yemen peace plan to United NationsIranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran stands ready to help the United Nations restore peace to Yemen Middle East
Iranian FM calls U.N. chief, urges for immediate Yemen peace talksIran has called for immediate peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties Middle East
How Resolution 2216 thwarted Iran’s plans in YemenOn the night of the U.N. Security Council’s session to vote on a resolution regarding Yemen, Iran was actively buying time Middle East
U.S. urges Iran to stick by U.N. arms embargo on Yemen‘Obviously Iran plays a role here given their support for the Houthi,’ State Department acting spokeswoman Marie Harf said Middle East
Iran proposes Yemen peace planIran has proposed a peace plan for Yemen that calls for a ceasefire Middle East
Iranian president calls for halt to Yemen airstrikesRowhani’s call for an end on airstrikes in Yemen comes after U.S. and UAE both accused Iran of meddling in Yemen Middle East
UAE FM: Iran is meddling in Yemen and the regionSheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said "Operation Decisive Storm" was launched because of the Houthi coup against legitimacy Middle East
Iran deploys ‘anti-piracy warships’ off Yemen’s coastThe Alborz destroyer and Bushehr support vessel sailed from Bandar Abbas on a mission to protect Iranian shipping from piracy Middle East
Turkey, Iran agree on trade but steer clear of Yemen disagreementsErdogan paid a one-day visit to Iran at a time when relations between Ankara and Tehran Middle East
Iran says could cooperate with Saudi to solve Yemen crisisIran wants all parties in Yemen to return to calm and dialogue, Tehran's deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian Middle East