Iran threatens war if ‘aid ship’ to Yemen attacked

Tehran says vessel, escorted by warships, contains 2,500 tons of humanitarian supplies; US warns against ‘provocative actions’

Iran threatened to declare war on any country that attacks a ship it says contains humanitarian aid currently making its way to Yemen, accompanied by warships. The warning came amid heightened tensions after the Islamic Republic seized a cargo ship last month.

Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier-General Massoud Jazzayeri warned that any attack on “the Iranian Red Crescent aid ship will spark war in the region. And this fire may not be put out or brought under control.” Continue reading

Report: Iran sends navy vessels near Yemen amid airstrikes

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel Wednesday to waters near Yemen as the United States quickened weapons supply to the Saudi-led coalition striking rebels there, underlining how foreign powers are deepening their involvement in the conflict.

Iran’s English-language state broadcaster Press TV quoted Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying the ships would be part of an anti-piracy campaign “safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region.”

The maneuver comes amid an intense Saudi-led Gulf Arab air campaign targeting the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, who come from a Shiite sect. Critics say Shiite power Iran backs the Houthis, though both the Islamic Republic and the rebels deny any direct military assistance. Continue reading