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US Navy: Ship Intercepted in Arabian Sea Originated in Iran

by VOA News September 30, 2015

The U.S. Navy says a member nation of a U.S.-backed naval coalition intercepted a ship carrying illicit arms believed to be from Iran in the Arabian Sea last week.

A Navy spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins, told VOA the small cargo vessel was not formally registered to any country.

Hawkins said illicit arms suspected to be Iranian and Russian, including anti-tank weapons, were seized. He said most of the weapons were disposed of at sea but some were saved for analysis by the crew of a U.S. guided missile destroyer, U.S.S. Forrest Sherman that arrived soon after weapons were discovered.

Hawkins said the cargo vessel's crew indicated that the ship's destination was Somalia. He said the crew was allowed to depart once the weapons were confiscated.

In a separate account of the vessel's seizure, the Saudi-led coalition battling Iranian-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed it had foiled the smuggling attempt. The coalition alleged that Iran was using the vessel to ship arms to the rebels.

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