US to transfer “seized Iranian ammunition” to Ukraine: Report

The US will transfer "Yemen-bound" seized Iranian weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, in a move that could help to alleviate some of the critical shortages facing the Ukrainian military as it awaits more money and equipment from Washington and its allies, American officials say. Tehran has repeatedly rejected as lies accusations that the Islamic Republic is sending arms to Yemen.

US Central Command has already transferred over one million rounds of seized Iranian ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces, it announced on Wednesday. The transfer was conducted on Monday, CENTCOM added in a news release.

“The government obtained ownership of these munitions on July 20, 2023, through the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” the statement read.

The Justice Department announced in March that it was seeking the forfeiture of one million rounds of Iranian ammunition, thousands of proximity fuses for rocket-propelled grenades, and thousands of pounds of propellant for rocket-propelled grenades that the Navy seized from Iran as it was in transit to Yemen.

“These munitions were originally seized by US Central Command naval forces from the transiting stateless dhow MARWAN 1, Dec. 9, 2022. The munitions were being transferred from the IRGC to the Houthis in Yemen in violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216,” the statement noted.

The Joe Biden administration has for months been weighing how to legally send the seized weapons, which are stored in CENTCOM facilities across the Middle East, to the Ukrainians.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations of smuggling weapons and ammunition to Yemen, stressing that arms exporters and all those who sponsor the siege against the Yemeni nation are in position to comment on the ongoing crisis in the impoverished country.

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