DUBAI: Iran has escalated its arms smuggling operations to the Houthi militia since the United Nations-backed truce ended last October, said Muammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s minister of information, culture, and tourism.
The minister pointed to a recent operation, jointly carried out by US and French forces, that intercepted an Iranian shipment of weapons heading to Yemen through the Gulf of Oman.
Reports earlier said the vessel carried 3,000 assault rifles, 20 anti-tank missiles, and around 500,000 rounds of ammunition en route to the Houthi militia.
In a statement, the US said the operation was one of four major interdictions over the last two months that prevented over 5,000 weapons and 1.6 million rounds of ammunition from reaching Yemen.
Al-Eryani said the Yemeni security forces’ seizure of 100 drone engines, headed to the Houthis via Shahn land port in the 5th such violation in two months, has demonstrated Iran’s role in undermining the international community’s efforts to end the war and bring peace to Yemen.
He added that it confirms Iran’s full empowerment of a militia that “doesn’t have power to decide on war and peace.”
Al-Eryani accused Iran’s regime of committing such violations to “export its internal crises” and “cover up atrocities against the Iranian people.”
The regime, he said, wanted to “mobilize its sectarian militias to create chaos, terrorism, destabilize security and stability, and threaten energy security and international shipping lanes.”
The minister called on the international community and UN members to confront Iran’s illegal practices that undermine regional and international stability.