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US Navy seizes Iranian-made weapons in Arabian Sea raid

EPA/US NAVY/ZANE ECKLUND HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A handout picture made available by the US Navy on 13 January 2016 shows Riverine command boats from Riverine Detachment 23 operating with the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) (not pictured) during a maritime air support operations center exercise in the Arabian sea, at sea, 12 June 2012. Two US naval vessels were detained on 13 January 2016 by Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf, but US defense officials said the sailors on board the ships were not in any danger. After losing contact with the 'two small naval craft,' which media reportedly to be two Riverine patrol boats, US officials established communication with Iranian authorities 'who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel,' the Pentagon said. The Pentagon has received assurances the sailors would be allowed to continue their journey promptly. They were en route from Kuwait to Bahrain when they were detained.

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US troops seized Iranian-manufactured weapons from a sailboat in the Arabian Sea.The US Central Command said the shipment was likely headed to Yemen, and included anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and other “advanced weapons parts”.
US officials said that navy personnel from the US cruiser Normandy boarded the vessel in accordance with international law. They also published a video which showed the troops boarding the vessel without apparent resistance.
“The weapons seized include 150 ‘Dehlavieh’ anti-tank guided missiles,” which are “Iranian-manufactured copies” of similar Russian-made weapons, US officials said, adding that many of the seized weapons were “identical” to those seized in a raid by the US in the Arabian Sea in November.
Other weapons allegedly included Iranian-made surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging scopes, ammunition as well as “Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels”.
“Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen”, the US Central Command said. A UN resolution bans Iran from selling weapons outside the country without authorization.
A separate UN document also bans supplying weapons to the Houthi leaders. The US accuses Iran for backing the Houthis in their fight against Yemen’s Saudi-backed government. The Houthi rebels have used drones and surface vessels to attack Saudi forces in the past, using equipment that the US says comes from Iran.

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