In international waters south of Iran earlier this year, one of Britain’s warships captured Iranian weapons from smugglers, including surface-to-air missiles and engines for cruise missiles, the Royal Navy said in a statement on Thursday.
On January 28 and February 25, a helicopter from the HMS Montrose frigate saw speedboats leaving the Iranian shore, and hundreds of shipments carrying sophisticated weapons were seized. ‘The seized packages were returned to the UK for technical analysis which revealed that the shipment contained multiple rocket engines for the Iranian produced 351 land-attack cruise missile and a batch of 358 surface-to-air missiles’, the statement added.
The Houthi group in Yemen frequently uses the 351 cruise missile, which has a 1,000-kilometer range, to attack Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which did not specify where the missiles were headed. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the Iranian administration. Officials from the Houthis were unavailable for comment right away.
Since 2015, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have been at war with the Houthis, who are believed to be Iran’s proxy in the battle between the two Western-backed Arab Gulf nations and Iran.
According to the Royal Navy, the USS Gridley destroyer of the US Navy aided the seizure in February. The HMS Montrose was engaged in ordinary maritime security operations when both seizures took place.