U.S. Navy Intercepts Illegal Iranian Arms Ship in Arabian Sea

Arms cache seized by the US Navy from an Iranian ship. (U.S Navy)

U.S. Central Command reported today that on Feb. 9, 2020, members of the crew of the USS Normandy (CG 60), in accordance with international law, boarded a dhow and discovered a large cache of weapons. The US Navy ship was conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations at the time.

(U.S Navy)

The weapons seized include 150 Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are named ‘Dehlavieh’. Other seized weapons components, including three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes, and Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels, as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts, were of Iranian design and manufacture.

On Nov. 25, 2019, the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) seized identical weapons systems in the Arabian Sea. At the time, those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen. The attempted transfer would have been in violation of a UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.

The seized weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition, and the assessment of the materiel will be an interagency and international effort, and international partner nations and organizations were invited to inspect the cache.

Central Command stated that the operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available.