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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Aden - Ali Rabih

Yemen Hails Washington’s Role in Curbing Iran’s Arms Smuggling

President of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council Rashad al-Alimi during his meeting with the US ambassador to Yemen, Steven Fagin, in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Sunday, December 11, 2022. (SABA)

President of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) Rashad al-Alimi held talks on Sunday with the US ambassador to Yemen, Steven Fagin, in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

He hailed efforts by the United States that led to curbing Iran’s arms smuggling to the Houthi militias and its interception of more smuggling vessels in the region.

The two officials discussed the latest local developments and the efforts required to promote economic and service reforms in the liberated governorates, according to the official Yemeni news agency SABA.

Alimi underlined the repercussions of the “Houthi terrorist threats on living conditions, international peace and security, and coordinated measures with the regional and international community to contain these repercussions,” SABA reported, in reference to the Houthi attacks on oil export ports in Hadramout and Shabwa governorates.

The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet has recently intercepted two vessels smuggling “massive” amounts of explosive material from Iran to Houthis along a route in the Gulf of Oman.

The Navy said in early December it has intercepted a fishing trawler smuggling more than 50 tons of ammunition — including more than 1 million bullet rounds, thousands of rocket fuses, and a large amount of propellant for rocket-propelled grenades — in the Gulf of Oman.

On November 8, the fleet intercepted a fishing vessel transporting more than 70 tons of ammonium perchlorate, which is used in the production of rocket and missile fuel, as well as explosives, and 100 tons of urea fertilizer, which is used in agriculture but can also be used in explosives.

Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Moammar Al-Eryani has earlier accused the Iranian regime of continuing to transfer weapons and military technology, including ballistic missiles and drones, to the Houthi militias, in flagrant violation of international resolutions, mainly Security Council Resolution 2216.

He said in official statements that the US interception of the two Iranian vessels affirms the Iranian regime’s increased smuggling operations, in preparation for a new round of military escalation.

He stressed that Tehran is determined to escape its internal crises by ordering its proxies in the region to implement its destructive policies, spread chaos and terrorism, destabilize regional security, and threaten global energy security and international shipping lines at the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab.

Eryani called on the international community, the United Nations and UN Security Council member states to halt the practices of the Iranian regime that undermine efforts to achieve calm and establish peace in Yemen, prolong the war, exacerbate the crisis and human suffering of Yemenis, and threaten regional and international peace and security.

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