America delivers Iranian arms to Ukraine

(MENAFN) In a significant development amid escalating tensions in the region, the United States has intercepted and redirected a substantial cache of Iranian weapons intended for Yemen's Houthi militia to Ukraine. The announcement came from the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) on Tuesday, revealing the transfer of thousands of Kalashnikov assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, and over half a million rounds of ammunition to Kiev.

According to CENTCOM, the interception and transfer occurred on April 4, providing enough weaponry to equip a single Ukrainian brigade with small arms. The Pentagon disclosed that these weapons and ammunition were originally en route from Iran to the Houthi militia in Yemen, violating a United Nations arms embargo. They were seized by the United States Navy and allied forces from several "transiting stateless vessels" off the coast of Yemen between May 2021 and February 2023.

In December, the United States government claimed ownership of the intercepted munitions through civil forfeiture proceedings initiated by the Justice Department. Civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice allowing the government to seize property suspected of being involved in criminal activity, has drawn criticism for its implications.

CENTCOM emphasized its commitment to collaborating with allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian weaponry in the region through legal means. It underscored Tehran's support for armed groups as a threat to international and regional security.

The transfer of intercepted Iranian weapons to Ukraine comes at a critical juncture, as the country grapples with ongoing conflict in its eastern regions and heightened tensions with Russia. This move by the United States underscores its support for Ukraine in the face of regional threats and reflects broader geopolitical dynamics shaping the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

As the situation unfolds, attention turns to the potential implications of this transfer on regional stability, diplomatic relations, and the ongoing conflict dynamics in both Ukraine and the broader Middle East.



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