Thousands of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and sniper rifles, seized in recent months by the US Navy in the Arabian Sea, may have originated in the same Iranian port and destination in Yemen, the United Nations revealed by The Wall Street Journal over the weekend.
The American newspaper, citing the draft text prepared by a group of Security Council experts in charge of Yemen, claims that small wooden boats and land transport are used to cross illegally into Yemen – a country torn apart by civil war since 2014 – weapons made in Russia, China and Iran.
The authors of the text, citing Yemenis, crew members of the vessels, as well as navigational data, estimate that the vessels used to transport weapons departed from the port of Jask, in southeastern Iran, in the Sea of Oman, according to the publication of 1).
Saudi Arabia, the leader of a military alliance that was involved in the 2015 war in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels close to Iran, as well as the United States, has for years accused Iran of supplying weapons to the rebels, something Tehran denies.
The UN has imposed an arms embargo on the Houthis since 2015.
Iran has assured the UN team of experts that it does not sell, supply or export weapons to Yemen, the Wall Street Journal notes.
Houthi Undersecretary of Intelligence Nasr al-Din Amir also denied that Iran was transporting weapons to Yemen.
The war has escalated lately. The military alliance led by Riyadh has intensified its airstrikes, mainly in the capital Sanaa, which remains in rebel hands.
The UN estimates that the armed conflict in Yemen has claimed the lives of 377,000 people, the vast majority of whom have died as a result of its indirect effects – lack of drinking water, famine and disease.
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