A US navy ship seized 150 Iranian-manufactured anti-tank guided missiles after boarding a vessel while conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.
“While conducting maritime security operations in the US Central Command area of operations, [the USS Normandy] boarded a dhow (a traditional sailing vessel) in accordance with international law and discovered a large cache of weapons,” said the US Central Command (CENTCOM) in a statement released on Thursday.
It added that the weapons seized were components of Iranian design and manufacture, including three Iranian surface-to-air missiles.
“The weapons seized include 150 Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs,” the statement said.
“Many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019. 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 UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.”
The statement added that the operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available.
Under a United Nations resolution, Tehran is prohibited from supplying, selling or transferring weapons outside the country unless approved by the Security Council. A separate UN resolution on Yemen bans the supply of weapons to Houthi leaders.
The Houthis have built their arsenal using local manufacturing, foreign expertise and parts smuggled in from Iran, their ally, and elsewhere.