Weapons shipped from Iran and seized by the US Navy in January 2023

Weapons shipped from Iran and seized by the US Navy in January 2023

British Navy Seizes Smuggled Iranian Weapons In Gulf Of Oman

Thursday, 03/02/2023

Britain's Royal Navy said Thursday it had seized Iranian weapons, including anti-tank guided missiles, last month from a smuggler’s vessel in the Gulf of Oman.

Britain said the vessel was detected travelling south from Iran at high speed during the hours of darkness by an unmanned US intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance plane in international waters, and was also tracked by a British helicopter.

When hailed by the Royal Navy, the vessel initially attempted to navigate to Iranian territorial waters but was stopped by a team of Royal Marines, who then boarded the small boat and recovered the suspicious packages, Britain's Ministry of Defense said.

"This seizure by HMS Lancaster and the permanent presence of the Royal Navy in the Gulf region supports our commitment to uphold international law and tackle activity that threatens peace and security around the world," British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement.

Initial inspection suggested the packages included Iranian anti-tank guided missiles and medium-range ballistic missile components, Britain said, adding that it had informed the United Nations about the seizure.

It follows two previous Royal Navy seizures of Iranian weapons in the region early last year and several seizures by the US Navy or in joint operations since November.

UN experts have in the past made a determination that some weapons used by the Houthi forces in Yemen had Iranian origin.

Tehran has been supporting the Houthis at least for the past 8 years against Yemen's government and its backer Saudi Arabia.

With reporting by Reuters

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