Iran denies knowledge of ship carrying weapons in Arabian Sea

Iran satellite

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

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

“We are not aware of the incident and therefore cannot comment,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told a press conference in Tehran.

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

Investigations are under way to determine where they had come from and their destination, the Navy said at the weekend.

The crew were questioned and then 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.

Iran is only diplomatically active in Yemen, according to Khatibzadeh. He added that Iran seeks a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“We have stressed several times that military options in Yemen are not the solution,” he said.

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