An informed Iranian source has strongly refuted Yemen’s claims that a ship loaded with weapons and surface-to-air missiles which has been intercepted off the Yemeni coast originated from Iran. “Contradictory news has been circulating in recent days about the seized ship which have led to many ambiguities in this regard,” an informed source in Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The unnamed source added that Iran attaches importance to maintaining security and stability of regional countries, particularly Yemen, emphasizing that such “irresponsible claims are not in line with the interests of the two countries."On Saturday, Yemen said that the seized ship was an Iranian vessel trying to smuggle explosives and rockets into the Arab country. Officials in Washington had earlier said that the ship was intercepted on January 23 in coordination with the US Navy. It is not the first time that Yemen has made unfounded claims about the detention of Iranian shiploads of arms in its territory. On December 29, 2012, the London-based Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Yemen’s Navy had detained an Iranian ship ‘containing weapons’ in the port of Saleef, a claim which was strongly rejected by an Iranian naval commander. “I do not confirm this report and I think that many such reports are political games,” Iranian Navy’s Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem Bigham said. SF/SS/MA