The U.S. State Department released Thursday photos of advanced missile parts believed to be linked to Iran from a boat stopped by the Navy in the Arabian Sea last month.
At a press briefing, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said the parts seized on November 25 are likely further proof of Tehran's efforts to inflame conflict in the region.
"We interdicted a significant hoard of weapons and missile parts evidently of Iranian origin. The seizure includes sophisticated weapons," he said, adding that the vessel was reportedly heading to Yemen to deliver the weapons.
"The weapon components comprise the most sophisticated weapons seized by the U.S. Navy to date during the Yemen conflict," Hook said.
On Nov. 25, a U.S. warship interdicted a large cache of Iranian weapons and missile parts off the coast of Yemen. This is more proof of Iran’s efforts to inflame conflicts in the Mideast, and evidence of Iran’s repeated violations of the @UN arms embargo. pic.twitter.com/TKjxrqQpg5
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 5, 2019
U.S. officials said Wednesday the suspected Iranian guided missile parts were headed to rebels in Yemen, marking the first time that such sophisticated components have been taken en route to the war there.
In recent years, U.S. warships have intercepted and seized Iranian arms likely bound for Iran-aligned Houthi fighters, who control much of northern Yemen.
A Saudi-led coalition, allied with the internationally recognized government, has been fighting them since 2015. A localized cease-fire in the port of Hodeida was brokered last December by the UN but was never fully implemented. Saudi Arabia has been holding indirect talks with the Houthis in Oman, and officials have said that momentum is building in other efforts to end the war.