The U.S. Navy seized 171 surface-to-air missiles, eight anti-tank missiles and 1.1 million barrels of petroleum products worth $261 million from two Iranian ships in the Arabian Sea in three separate instances since 2019, the Department of Justice said in a press release on Tuesday.
The Navy seized the weapons in November 2019 and August 2020 during what is called routine operations in the sea. The arms shipments were headed to Iran-backed militants fighting in war-torn Yemen, and were organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the U.S. deems a terrorist organization, according to the DOJ.
Wednesday’s announcement followed the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. issuing a final order of forfeiture for the arms shipments on Nov. 15, the DOJ wrote.
The petroleum was officially foreited in October 2021, after American officials won approval from a Washington, D.C., court to sell the fuel taken from four Iranian ships the year prior. The U.S. proved the Iranian military would have profited from the sale of the petroleum to militias in Yemen.
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