In a joint operation with America, the British Navy announces the seizure of an Iranian arms shipment in the Gulf of Oman last month

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Britain announced the seizure of a shipment of weapons coming from Iran heading to the south through the Gulf of Oman in cooperation with the US Navy, last month, according to a statement received by CNN Thursday.

“The United Kingdom and the United States worked together to detect and intercept the smuggling boat,” the British Embassy in the UAE said in a statement. “Members of the British Royal Navy boarded the boat in the international waters of the Gulf of Oman.”

The London embassy in the UAE indicated in its statement that it had found “missile components” and “complete missiles” in the seized military shipment.

The statement read: “Royal Navy ship HMS Lancaster seized weapons from a ship traveling south from Iran while conducting a routine maritime security patrol. On February 23, 2023, a US Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform detected a suspected smuggling vessel that was sailing at high speed in international waters in the Persian Gulf. Oman during the hours of darkness.

The London embassy added in its statement: “The ship was tracked by HMS Lancaster’s Wildcat helicopter as well, but the smugglers initially ignored warnings from the Royal Navy and tried to sail into Iranian territorial waters but were caught before they could do so, and in accordance with international law, A team of Royal Marines stopped and boarded the ship.”

Regarding the ship’s equipment, the British embassy said in the statement: “Initial examination indicates that the shipment includes anti-tank guided missiles (Iranian versions of the Russian 9M133 Kornet, known in Iran as Dehlavieh), and components for a medium-range ballistic missile.”

The embassy indicated that “the United Nations was informed of the confiscation and invited to conduct its own inspection of the equipment, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions No. 2216 and 2231,” she said.

Britain’s Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, commented on the operation by saying: “The seizure of the cargo by HMS Lancaster and the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Gulf region reinforce our commitment to upholding international law and addressing activity that threatens peace and security around the world.”

London indicated that this operation comes after two operations to intercept and confiscate advanced Iranian weapons shipments in early 2022, and these shipments included missile components used by the Houthis to target Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

For his part, Brad Cooper, Commander of the US Naval Forces at Central Command, the US Fifth Fleet and the Combined Navy, said: “This is the seventh interception of an illegal shipment of weapons or drugs in the past three months and another example of Iran’s increasing malign maritime activity across the region,” as he put it. .

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