U.S. Calls on Iran to Stop Providing Advanced Weapons to Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-05-14 10:25 AM UTC


The United States called on the Iranian regime on Monday to stop transferring the "unprecedented" amount of weaponry to Yemen's Ansar Allah (Houthi) group, saying such weapons will not help Yemen make progress toward ending the civil war in Yemen.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood told the U.N. Security Council it should collectively "call Iran out for its destabilizing role and insist that it cannot hide behind the Houthis."

Wood indicated there is extensive evidence that Iran is providing advanced weapons to Yemen's Houthis, including ballistic and cruise missiles, and such conduct is a violation of U.N. sanctions. He said the Iranian weapons enable Houthi fighters to carry out "reckless attacks" on ships in the Red Sea and elsewhere.

He added, "To underscore the council's concern regarding the ongoing violations of the arms embargo, we must do more to strengthen enforcement and deter sanctions violators."

In March this year, the U.S. said it augmented efforts to monitor and intercept Iranian weapons that are smuggled to the Houthi group, which has targeted several commercial vessels and American warships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden since November last year.


U.S. officials said at the time Washington aims to map routes used by Iran and intercept weapons bound for the Houthi group as their assaults on shipping lanes have turned deadly.


In mid-January this year, the U.S. Navy intercepted a dhow in international waters of the Arabian Sea transporting advanced weapons to the Houthi group.

Moreover, the U.S. Central Command said it seized on January 28 advanced conventional weapons and other lethal aid originating in Iran and bound to Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

More than 200 packages of weaponry were found. According to CENTCOM, the packages contained "medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle components, military-grade communication and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other military components."


U.N. experts say maritime smuggling of Iranian weapons originates from Iranian ports such as Bandar Jask in the Gulf of Oman and Bandar Abbas in the Strait of Hormuz. The shipment of smuggled weapons can be transported through the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden to Yemen or take routes over land through bordering countries such as Oman.


Though Yemen has been witnessing a lull in fighting since April 2022, the smuggling of Iranian weapons to Yemen has not ceased. The report of the U.N. Panel of Experts on Yemen, which covered the period from December 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023, documented several weapons smuggling attempts.

The Houthi group also received weapons from Russia. In January of this year, Sheba Intelligence revealed in a previous report that the group had obtained 300 Russian-made naval missiles.

The Houthis say their ongoing attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are aimed at pressuring Israel to end its war on Gaza, which has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians there.