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Thousands of AK-47 assault rifles sit on the flight deck of guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during an inventory process, Jan. 7., 2023. U.S. naval forces seized 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles from a fishing vessel transiting along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen. U.S. Navy Photo

Thousands of AK-47 assault rifles sit on the flight deck of guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during an inventory process, Jan. 7., 2023. U.S. naval forces seized 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles from a fishing vessel transiting along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen. U.S. Navy Photo

U.S. Transfers Seized Iranian Weapons to Ukraine

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6206
April 9, 2024

The U.S. Government has transferred a substantial quantity of seized Iranian munitions to the Ukrainian armed forces to aid in their battle against Russia’s invasion.

The transfer to Ukraine took place on April 4, 2024 and included over 5,000 AK-47s, machine guns, sniper rifles, RPG-7s, and half a million rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The amount is sufficient to equip an entire Ukrainian Brigade with small arms rifles.

The U.S. government acquired the munitions on December 1, 2023, via the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

U.S. Central Command and allied naval forces seized the weaponry from four unregistered vessels in international waters between May 2021 and February 2023. The IRGC was illegally transferring these munitions to Houthi terrorist forces in Yemen, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216.

Since 2014, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) has been arming and training the Houthis, which has enabled them to launch missile and UAV strikes against commercial shipping in the Red Sea since November 2023, threatening international commerce and freedom of navigation through the critical waterway.

Between 2015 and 2023, the U.S. and its allies intercepted at least 18 Iranian smuggling vessels, seizing illegal weaponry including ballistic missile components, UAVs, antitank guided missiles, and thousands of assault rifles and rocket components destined for the Houthis.

“U.S. CENTCOM is committed to working with our allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region by all lawful means including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and through interdictions,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

“Iran’s support for armed groups threatens international and regional security, our forces, diplomatic personnel, and citizens in the region, as well as those of our partners. We will continue to do whatever we can to shed light on and stop Iran’s destabilizing activities.”

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