Yemen says Iran sending weapons to rebels

Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Weapons allegedly sent by Iran to anti-government forces in Yemen are "clearly" meant as a threat to Yemen and the region, the U.S. State Department said.

The State Department commended the government in Yemen after it said it seized a cache of Iranian-supplied man-portable anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

"These weapons are clearly designed to cause significant damage with the highest possible number of casualties and are a threat to both Yemen and the region," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

The Shiite government in Iran is defying international expectations with its proliferation activities, she said.

Last week, Nuland praised Yemen for moving forward with plans for a national dialogue that's said to include southern separatists and backers of the rebel Houthi movement, a northern Shiite group.

Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports the allegations come as the United States increases its controversial drone program over Yemeni territory. A missile fired from an drone in 2011 killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who was the ideological leader of the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Boehner delays House vote for new speaker
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
FDA approves new treatment for advanced lung cancer
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'