France seizes Iran assault rifles, missiles heading to Yemen
SMA NEWS – MUKALLA
French naval forces in January seized thousands of assault rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles in the Gulf of Oman coming from Iran and heading to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, officials said Thursday.
While Iran denied being involved, images of the weapons released by the U.S. military’s Central Command showed them to be similar to others captured by American forces in other shipments tied to Tehran.
The announcement comes as Iran faces increasing Western pressure over its shipment of drones to arm Russia during its war on Ukraine, as well as for its violent monthslong crackdown targeting protesters.
Regional tensions also have heightened after a suspected Israeli drone attack on a military workshop in the central Iranian city of Isfahan on Saturday. Previous cycles of violence since the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers have seen the Islamic Republic launch retaliatory attacks at sea.
The seizure occurred Jan. 15 in the Gulf of Oman, a body of water that stretches from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, through to the Arabian Sea and onto the Indian Ocean. CENTCOM described the interdiction as happening “along routes historically used to traffic weapons unlawfully from Iran to Yemen.”