U.S. Lauds Yemen's Interception of Iran Arms Shipment

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The United States praised on Saturday the Yemeni government for its "successful and significant interdiction" of an arms vessel sent by Iran and its decision to alert the U.N. Security Council.

"These weapons are clearly designed to cause significant damage with the highest possible number of casualties and are a threat to both Yemen and the region," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement, urging U.N. experts to evaluate the arms.

She added that the origin of the ship and weapons "underscores Iran's ongoing evasion of six relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions."

"Iran continues to defy the international community through its proliferation activities and support for destabilizing action in the region," Nuland said.

"The international community must continue to speak with one voice and work to ensure that Iran adheres to all of its international obligations."

Western nations and Israel have long accused Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon in the guise of a civilian uranium enrichment program, charges denied by Tehran, which insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

The coast guard, in coordination with the U.S. navy, on January 23 intercepted in the Arabian Sea a ship carrying rockets and explosives, which authorities in Sanaa say came from Iran. Tehran denies any involvement.

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