Iran Responds To US Naval Escalation, Sends Warship Escort For Yemen Aid Vessel

The tension is palpable on the high seas these days, what with proxy wars raging in close proximity to critical oil chokepoints and “Axis of Evil” members stepping up efforts to deter the suspicious maritime activities of naval powerhouses like The Marshall Islands. You’ll recall that towards the end of last month, Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship that veered into its waters prompting the the US Navy to announce it would henceforth be escorting ships in the Persian Gulf as a safety precaution. 

This was just the latest in a string of seaborne provocations which included Washington’s move to send an aircraft carrier to the waters of Yemen with the intention of supporting efforts to intercept Iranian vessels which the US assumes are carrying weapons intended for the Houthi rebels. Of course Iran would never, ever arm militiamen aiming to usurp a US-backed, Saudi-supported puppet government which is why the following shouldn’t be expected to ruffle any feathers in Washington:

The Iranian Navy is safeguarding 'Iran Shahed' ship, the Iranian vessel carrying humanitarian supplies to the war-stricken people of Yemen, according to Rear Admiral Hossein Azad, the commander of the first zone of the Navy.

 

Iran Shahed ship left the Port of Shahid Rajaei in southern Iran for Yemen after loading humanitarian supplies in the Iranian commercial port on Monday. 

 

Airstrikes on Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition have killed and wounded thousands of innocent people of the country so far. 

 

Rear Admiral Azad told IRNA that the 34th fleet of the navy, which is present in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb Strait, provides special support for Iranian vessels carrying humanitarian aid. 

 

This fleet escorts Iranian commercial vessels and tankers, and also safeguards ships from other nations whenever deemed necessary, Azad said, citing the saving of a ship owned by Hong Kong from pirates by the 34th fleet of the Iranian Navy. 

In other words: nothing to see here, just the Iranian Navy accompanying a ship loaded with “humanitarian supplies” (and certainly no weapons caches) to Yemen, where fighters (who Iran has certainly never armed before) battle Saudi Arabia (which has now positioned a “strike force” on the border) for control of the country. 

Needless to say, the US will want to inspect any Iranian aid ships bound for Yemen, setting up yet another potentially tense situation and increasing the chances of an "accident" off the war-torn country's coast. 

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