Where’s the media? US Navy, Coast Guard intercepts over 170 tons of explosives destined from Iran to Yemen

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GULF OF OMAN- While the Biden administration continues to try to sell the farm to Iran, news has come forth that the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard intercepted a vessel last week carrying what has been described as a “massive” Iranian shipment of explosives headed for Yemen, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said, according to the Navy Times.

On Nov. 8, a fishing vessel occupied by four Yemenis was stopped in international waters by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter John Scheuerman and the Navy guided missile destroyer The Sullivans.

The Navy Times said over 170 tons of urea fertilizer (some outlets said the amount was 70 tons) and ammonium perchlorate was seized. Those materials are used in the manufacture of explosives, including rocket and missile fuel. The seizure was conducted by explosive ordinance disposal technicians from U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 56, as well as the crew of the Navy patrol ship Hurricane.

NBC News reported that the boat was not registered in any particular country.

“This was a massive amount of explosive material, enough to fuel more than a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles depending on the size,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces said in a statement.

“The unlawful transfer of lethal aid from Iran does not go unnoticed. It is irresponsible, dangerous, and leads to violence and instability across the Middle East.”

The command statement further noted that the vessel was reportedly on a route that is “historically used to traffic weapons to the Houthis in Yemen.”

After the explosives were offloaded, the U.S. military determined the boat was a hazard to commercial ship navigation and sent it to the pearly depths of the Gulf of Oman. Meanwhile, the four Yemeni crew members were transferred to Yemen for repatriation.

NBC News noted that while urea fertilizer has been previously seized, this was the first time they also found ammonium perchlorate as well.

“Alongside our partner forces, CENTCOM is committed to security and stability of the region and to deterring the illegal and destabilizing flow of lethal material into the region over land, in the air, and at sea,” Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla said in a statement addressing the seizure.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that this is the second such seizure involving a fishing boat this year. Earlier this year, another fishing boat was snagged by the USS Cole and the USS Chinook carrying 40 tons of urea fertilizer. That boat was also seized in the Gulf of Oman after it departed from Somalia, NBC News reported.

The Navy Times also reported that earlier this month, the Navy seized $1 million in drugs from Iranian and Pakistani nationals who set their fishing vessel on fire, also in the Gulf of Oman.

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In the latest incident, the Yemeni embassy tweeted their thanks to the United States for intercepting the explosives.

“Yet again, another example of blatant Iranian interference in Yemen’s affairs. We thank the US government for preventing the smuggling of #Iran’s lethal aid to the #Houthis in #Yemen. This needs to be condemned by the international community.”

NBC News noted that the supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis violates UN Security Council Resolution 2216, as well as international law.

Iran has become increasingly bolder even as the Biden administration appears ready to grab their collective ankles and give them what they want.

According to The Straits Times, Iran is believed to have developed a hypersonic missile which is capable of penetrating all defense systems, including Israel’s Iron Dome, the commander of its Revolutionary Guards aerospace unit said last week.

Hypersonic missiles are much more lethal than traditional ballistic missiles since they are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound.

“This hypersonic ballistic missile was developed to counter air defense shields,” Gen. Hajizadeh said as quoted by Iran’s Fars news agency.

“It will be able to breach all the systems of anti-missile defense,” the general said, adding he believes it would take “decades” before a system capable of taking out the missiles was able to be developed.

“This missile, which targets enemy anti-missile systems, represents a great generational leap in the field of missiles.”

This news comes on the heels of Iran admitting last week that it has supplied drones to Russia, however, claims it did so prior to the current war in Ukraine.

Another feature of hypersonic missiles is that unlike traditional ballistic missiles which carry nuclear warheads which fly a designated trajectory, they are maneuverable. That makes it much harder to track and defend against.

Likewise, their trajectory is low in the atmosphere, allowing them to quickly reach their intended targets.


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