US Provides 1.1 Million Rounds of Ammunition Seized from Iran to Ukraine

In a move to support Ukraine, the US has delivered approximately 1.1 million bullets that were seized from Iran to the Ukrainian military. The US Central Command (Centcom), responsible for operations in the Middle East, revealed that these rounds were originally confiscated from a ship heading towards Yemen in December. The transfer of ammunition comes at a crucial time when Ukraine’s allies have expressed concerns over the country’s depleting ammunition stock. Centcom stated that the Iranian ammunition was handed over to Ukraine on Monday, after US naval forces seized the munitions from a stateless vessel called MARWAN 1 on December 9th. In July, the US government gained ownership of these rounds through a process called civil forfeiture, which allows assets to be seized if they are believed to be linked to criminal activities. The claim was made against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of its armed forces responsible for protecting the government. It is important to note that Iran has been supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, although the UN Security Council has banned arms transfers to this group since 2015. The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when the Houthis took control of the capital city, Sanaa, and ousted the government. The ousted government maintains international recognition and is supported by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, along with the US and the UK. Furthermore, accusations against Iran for supplying arms, particularly drones, to Russia for use in Ukraine’s war have continued since the second half of last year. This development raises concerns about Iran’s increasing role as Russia’s principal military supporter. Despite the ammunition transfer, Ukraine’s allies have emphasized that there is still a shortage of ammunition, highlighting the urgency to address this issue. The UK, France, and Germany also intend to maintain sanctions on Iran, further demonstrating their reluctance to normalize relations with the nation.