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Showdown With Iran: U.S. Navy Sends Carrier To Arabian Sea to Block Iranian Arming Yemen Rebels

April 21, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Showdown With Iran: U.S. Navy Sends Carrier To Arabian Sea to Block Iranian Arming Yemen Rebels

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The United States has sent the U.S.S Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier to the waters off Yemen Monday to join other American ships in an attempt to block any Iranian weapons shipments to Shiite Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen.

A Navy official confirmed the deployment of the USS Theodore Roosevelt with the USS Normandy; a guided-missile cruiser departed the Persian Gulf on Sunday destined to the Arabian Sea, to help enforce the naval blockade.

The massive carrier carries F/A-18 fighter jets, the impressive show of force is being viewed more as a deterrent. The U.S. Navy has begun increasing their presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea. The increase of Naval vessels comes after reports of an Iranian convoy of eight ships is heading toward Yemen carrying arms for the Houthis rebels.

The deployment follows last week’s 14-0 approval of a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo on Houthis rebel leaders. The increased Tensions in the region comes at a crucial point where world powers are attempting to finalize a nuclear deal by the end of June with Iran. A coalition of Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia against the Iran-backed rebels may put the deal in peril.

Sunni Arab and Western allies accuse Iran of arming the Shiite Houthis.
Tehran and the rebels deny the allegations, claiming the Iranian Government has only provided political and humanitarian support to the Shiite group.

The Saudi-led coalition air campaign against the Houthis is in its fourth week and has received logistical support from the U.S. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that U.S. officials are concerned about the Iranian government’s “continued support” for the Houthis rebels.

“We have evidence that the Iranians are giving weapons and other armed material support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to a greater increase in violence in that country,” he said. ”

He added, “the Iranians are well aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons.”

The aircraft carrier joins nine U.S. Navy ships already in the region, which include cruisers and destroyers carrying special-ops teams that can conduct search operations of other vessels.

The U.S. Navy does board ships to combat piracy around the Horn of Africa. Since the conflict in Yemen began, U.S. naval personnel has yet to confront Iranian vessels. Navy officials refused to speculate whether an Iranian convoy would consent to a Naval boarding request and what action will take place if that does happen.

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