U.N. Security Council investigates suspected Iranian weapons shipment in Yemeni waters

Published on 25 February 2013 in News
Rammah Al-Jubari (author)

Rammah Al-Jubari

Weapons  found in the vessel.

Weapons found in the vessel.

SANA’A, Feb. 24 — United Nations Security Council experts have started investigating a weapons vessel that was confiscated in Yemeni regional waters in late January, according to the Security Information Center at the Interior Ministry.

Yemeni authorities believe the ship was carrying anti-aircraft missiles, Katyusha rockets, rocket propelled grenades and C4 explosives and sailed from Iran en route to the Yemeni coast, but the international body has made no announcement of its findings.    

A source in the center said the team of experts arrived on Friday, Feb. 22, and will stay until Feb. 28.

A spokesperson at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement released on the Ministry’s website, “We fully endorse President Hadi’s call for a U.N. investigation into the consignment of weapons, including portable anti-aircraft missiles and explosives, captured off the Yemen coast on January 23. Preliminary investigations suggest the weapons originated in Iran.”

“If confirmed, this would be a direct contravention of U.N. Security Resolution 1747, which prohibits the export of weapons by Iran. Such activity is detrimental to the security of the entire region,” the statement read.  

In the same vein, political analyst Ahmed Al-Zurka told the Yemen Times that Yemen has become a theater of war for international actors and these actors, which includes Iran, are pouring weapons into Yemen.

He also claims that the government has not provided the public with accurate information. At first, Al-Zurka, explained, the government said that the weapons shipment was headed for Houthis before retracting this statement and claiming that the shipment was intended for the Southern Movement.

In contrast,  Mohammed Al-Makaleh, a political analyst known to support Iran, said the so-called Iranian weapons shipment is a scandal and a lie put forward by the Yemeni government.

He stated that the purpose of the lie is to indict Ali Salem Al-Beidh as a responsible party derailing the transitional phase in Yemen, and no more.