Sunday, June 20, 2021

Iran distances self from ship carrying weapons in Arabian Sea

Headline

tiamin rice

Iran on Monday denied any involvement with a ship carrying thousands of weapons seized by the United States in the Arabian Sea.

The U.S. Navy had earlier stopped the stateless vessel which was carrying assault rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told a press conference in Tehran that “we are not aware of the incident and therefore cannot comment.’’

The arms, including rifles and optical sights for weapons, were Russian and Chinese made, to the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

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The U.S. navy however said investigations are under way to determine where they had come from and their destination adding that the crew who were questioned have been released.

The ship was assumed to be travelling from Iran, to provide support to Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The rebels are fighting the Yemeni government which is supported by a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni coast guard has repeatedly intercepted similar shipments.

Usually, ships from Iran enter Yemen via the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

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Khatibzadeh said that Iran is only diplomatically active in Yemen, adding that Iran seeks a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“We have stressed several times that military options in Yemen are not the solution.’’

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dpa/NAN

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