US Justice Department looks to keep Iranian weapons seized en route to Yemen

The US Justice Department on Friday filed a forfeiture complaint to take possession of more than one million rounds of ammunition and thousands of other weapons that were seized in transit from Iran to Yemen’s Houthis.

“The United States disrupted a major operation by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to smuggle weapons of war into the hands of a militant group in Yemen. The Justice Department is now seeking the forfeiture of those weapons, including over one million rounds of ammunition and thousands of proximity fuses for rocket-propelled grenades,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

He said the Justice Department would be relentless in holding accountable those who “break our laws and threaten our national security.”

Previous media reports have suggested the US is looking to send the weapons to Ukraine.

In January, US and French forces intercepted a vessel with thousands of assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, and 500,000 rounds of ammunition.

US forces have stepped up their efforts to monitor the waters in the region alongside its Gulf and Arab allies.

In December and January, the US Central Command said they carried out four “significant illicit cargo interdictions,” preventing over 5,000 weapons and 1.6 million rounds of ammunition from reaching Yemen.

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