Iran Challenges U.S. and Saudi Arabia by Sending Aid Ship to Rebels in Yemen
DUBAI: An Iranian cargo ship carrying aid and activists crossed into the Gulf of Aden on Sunday and will reach Yemen’s Hodaida port on May 21, Iranian media reported, in a challenge to coalition naval forces controlling Yemeni waters.
A coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia has imposed searches on all ships trying to enter Yemen in a bid to prevent weapons being smuggled to the Iran-allied Houthi rebel group which controls much of the country, including Hodaida.
Iranian officials last week said they would not allow the coalition forces to inspect the Iran Shahed, which is under military escort, and warned of war if the cargo ship was attacked.
“After entering the Gulf of Aden today... we expect to be in the confines of Hodaida port early on May 21,” the Iran Shahed’s captain, Massoud Ghazi Mirsaid, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
This image (Without ur text) can be seen as reported by Teheran times (link below)
Iran says the ship is carrying food aid, medical volunteers and seven Western activists, one of whom was identified by the Tasnim news agency as Caleb Maupin, a native of Ohio who has campaigned against war and the US financial system.
The presence of foreign activists has previously complicated plans to intercept ships carrying them.
Maupin also criticized a plea from his native United States that Iran redirect the ship to Djibouti, where the United Nations is coordinating relief efforts.
Reuters ship tracking data showed the Iran Shahed located off the coast of eastern Yemen at 1110 GMT, heading west toward the Bab El-Mandeb strait, one of the world’s busiest oil shipping routes.
The Iranian news version:
tehran times : Iran aid ship passes Oman, nears Yemen coast