Yemeni official dubs UK claims on Iranian weapons boat as 'nonsense'
Yemen's Deputy Information Minister Fahmi Al-Yousefi denies UK claims regarding the seizure of a boat carrying Iranian arms to Yemen and notes Western strategy to militarize the Red Sea.
Claims by the British Navy regarding the seizure of weapons, allegedly smuggled by Iranians in the Gulf of Oman and heading to Yemen, have been dismissed as "nonsense" by Yemen's Deputy Information Minister Fahmi Al-Yousefi.
In an interview with Sputnik on Friday, Al-Yousefi said the claims echoed by Muammar al-Iryani, the Yemeni information minister in the ousted government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi are an "indication for the preparation of a plan for escalation by Britain and the Western system that impede the path of dialogue and implementation of the agreement."
Additionally, Al-Yousefi stated that "Al-Iryani's reference to the British Navy is evidence that Britain is illegally present on the Yemeni coasts in the Red Sea."
According to Al-Yousefi, the UK is the one who pushed for the latest decision to extend sanctions against Yemen, thus implying that London is the primary actor in the strategy of Red Sea militarization.
“There is no evidence for what the British Navy said, otherwise why did Britain not speak directly with Iran,” the official said, adding that “these accusations are neither surprising nor new, and we have self-sufficiency in weapons, and we do not need weapons, but rather a food and medicine and breaking the blockade, which is intended to continue through these allegations.”
Iran denies UK, US seized arms allegedly sea-smuggled to Yemen
The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday rejected and refuted the United Kingdom's statement claiming the seizure of weapons allegedly smuggled by Iranians in the Gulf of Oman and heading to Yemen.
On Thursday, the UK navy claimed that in a joint operation with the US navy, it intercepted the boat and "confiscated" the weapons on board. The navy did not say the boat was Iranian but it tried to escape the chase by "steering their craft towards Iranian territorial waters."
"[Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser] Kanaani rejected this false claim, saying those countries that have supplied weapons worth billions of dollars to an invading coalition and have caused the death of people and destruction of Yemen, cannot acquit themselves of this wrongdoing by making accusations against others," the ministry said.
Kanaani called the same countries "the main culprits behind war-mongering throughout history and ... the biggest arms suppliers to crisis zones of the world," and said that accusing Iran and other countries was their attempt to mislead the public opinion.