US Sends Seized Iranian Weapons to Ukraine

US Sends Seized Iranian Weapons to Ukraine

( – Over one million rounds of ammunition from Iran were confiscated by the US in the Gulf last year and given to Ukraine. On July 20, 2023, they handed the ammunition and weaponry over to Ukraine. This occurred as a result of civil forfeiture actions filed by the DOJ against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran.

On December 9, 2022, naval troops from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) first captured these weapons. The IRGC was shipping them to Yemen for the Houthis in Yemen in defiance of Resolution 2216 of the UN Security Council.

Over the last year, the US Navy stopped Iranian arms shipments to Yemen and confiscated thousands of rifles and over a million rounds of munitions. Small stateless boats are targeted and often seized with the help of regional partners on routes that have traditionally been used to transfer armaments to the Yemeni Houthis.

Midway through January, US and French soldiers collaborated to seize 3,000 weapons and 23 anti-tank-directed missiles en route from Iran to the Houthis. The US then acquired possession of the firearms after the seizure.

Per CENTCOM, the two months before that illicit weapons interception saw the US and its allies confiscate an overall 1.6 million ammo rounds and 5,000 guns.

At least two complaints for the seizure of Iranian firearms and ammunition have been filed by the DOJ this year. In addition to the declaration made in March, the DOJ revealed in July that it was pursuing the confiscation of more than 700,000 rounds of ammo, around 194 rocket launchers, 284 rapid-fire guns, more than 70 anti-tank-directed missiles, and upwards of 9,000 rifles that had been captured by the US Navy from Iran.

The move has the potential to create tensions between Russia and Iran, who have been working together de facto on defense for the past few months. Both countries have been working together on air defense and missile manufacturing, and Iran has been providing Russia with drones for its battle in Ukraine.

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