US Sends Aircraft Carrier to Intercept Iranian Arms Shipment
The United States is sending the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt and the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Normandy to assist other American ships in the Gulf of Aden in intercepting a shipment of arms reportedly carried by a convoy of 8 Iranian ships.
Concerns have been escalating over Iran’s increasing influence over the Middle East, from Iraq to Yemen. Saudi Arabia and a small coalition began airstrikes to Yemen, in an attempt to knock them out. But the weapons shipments on the way to the region could very well launch a confrontation with the United States…all while the US government struggles to obtain a nuclear arms deal.
According to Fox News, American ships have been in the region conducting “Maritime Security Operations.” The Navy released a statement on Monday:
In recent days, the U.S. Navy has increased its presence in this area as a result of the current instability in Yemen,” the statement said.
“The purpose of these operations is to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe. The United States remains committed to its regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.”
Josh Earnest responded to questions about the deployment of the USS Roosevelt and the USS Normandy by stating this:
“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East… the Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons.”