Iran denies US accusation of Yemen arms shipments
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Iran denies US accusation of Yemen arms shipments

US Navy says it has intercepted four boatloads of weapons sent by Tehran to Shiite Houthi rebels since 2015

An Iranian fishing vessel intercepted off the coast of Oman by Saudi-led coalition forces carrying arms believed bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen, September 2015. (screen capture: Al-Arabiya)
An Iranian fishing vessel intercepted off the coast of Oman by Saudi-led coalition forces carrying arms believed bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen, September 2015. (screen capture: Al-Arabiya)

TEHRAN — Iran’s foreign ministry has rejected accusations from the United States that it has been shipping arms to the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to media reports on Monday.

A US admiral said on Thursday that warships from the US Navy and allied nations had intercepted four weapons shipments from Iran to the Arabian Peninsula country since April 2015.

The shipments contained thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles and “other pieces of other equipment, higher-end weapons systems,” said Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi dismissed the claims.

“These accusations are totally false when… every day destructive arms, US bombs and missiles are dropped by the Arab coalition on the heads of defenseless civilians in schools, hospitals, prisons and homes in Yemen,” he said, quoted in local media on Monday.

Ghassemi said the bombardment amounted to “war crimes.”

The United States and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly accused Iran of arming the Houthis.

Yemen has been rocked by conflict since the Houthis overran Sanaa and other large parts of the country in 2014, prompting military intervention by a Saudi-led coalition in March last year in support of the internationally recognized government.

The conflict has killed nearly 7,000 people, wounded more than 35,000 and displaced at least three million since the Saudi-led coalition launched military operations, according to the United Nations.

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