Yemen: British Navy seizes Iranian missiles, parts of which are likely destined for Yemen

DUBAI (Reuters) – The British Navy has seized anti-tank missiles and fins for ballistic missile assemblies in a raid on a small boat heading from Iran to Yemen, authorities said on Thursday, the latest seizure of this guy in the Gulf of Oman.
The seizure by the Royal Navy comes after other seizures by French and US forces in the region as Western powers increase pressure on Iran as it now enriches uranium closer to weapons-grade levels than ever before. . It also comes as regional and international powers attempt to end the years-long war in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, and Iran is arming Russia in its war against Ukraine.
The raid took place on February 23 after a US aircraft detected a small boat coming from Iran, with a helicopter from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster pursuing the vessel, the UK Ministry of Defense said. The boat attempted to re-enter Iranian territorial waters, but was stopped before it could.
Inside the boat, British troops found Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles, known in Iran as “Dehlavieh”, the US Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet and British Navy said. These weapons have been seen in other seizures suspected of coming from Iran and bound for Yemen.
Also on board were small fins that the US Navy has identified as jet vanes for medium-range ballistic missiles. Iranian components have helped build a missile arsenal for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have held the country’s capital, Sanaa, since 2014.
A United Nations resolution bans arms transfers to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Tehran has long denied arming the rebels, despite physical evidence, numerous seizures and experts linking the weapons to Iran.
“This seizure by HMS Lancaster and the continued presence of the Royal Navy in the Gulf region supports our commitment to uphold international law and to combat activities that threaten peace and security around the world,” said the British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
Vice Adm. Brad Cooperthe commander of the US 5th Fleet, said in a statement that this was the “seventh interdiction of illegal weapons or drugs in the last three months and yet another example of the growing malicious maritime activity of Iran in the region”.
Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the seizure. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The war in Yemen has largely deteriorated into a stalemate and spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. However, Saudi-led airstrikes have not been recorded in Yemen since the kingdom began a ceasefire in late March 2022, according to the report. Yemen Data Project.
This ceasefire expired in October despite diplomatic efforts to renew it. This raised fears that the war could escalate again. More than 150,000 people have been killed in Yemen during the fighting, including more than 14,500 civilians.


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