US Navy seizes two caches of Iranian arms in Arabian Sea destined for Yemen’s Houthis
The US Navy seized two large caches of Iranian weapons from two vessels in the Arabian sea which Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) intended to ship to the Houthi militias in Yemen, the US Justice Department said on Tuesday.
The caches contained 171 surface-to-air missiles and eight anti-tank missiles, as well as approximately 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum products. The petroleum products were seized from four foreign-flagged tankers in or around the Arabian Sea while en route to Venezuela.
The Justice Department said Tuesday’s seizure represent the US “largest-ever forfeitures of fuel and weapons shipments from Iran.”
The US government sold the seized petroleum products for $26.7 million and directed that amount to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.
“The actions of the US in these two cases strike a resounding blow to the Government of Iran and to the criminal networks supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Iran has long been accused of fanning the flames of violence in the Middle East through financial and military support to its network of Shia proxies in the region, specifically in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.