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US sends 1.1 million rounds of seized Iranian ammunition to Ukraine

The unprecedented shipment comes as political paralysis in Congress has threatened to interrupt the flow of weapons to Kyiv.
Navy gulf Oman

WASHINGTON — The US has sent Ukraine’s military 1.1 million rounds of small arms ammunition which the US Navy seized from smugglers tied to Iran in the Gulf of Oman last year.

The US Navy confiscated the 7.62mm rounds, which can be fired by Kalashnikov assault rifles, in December 2022 from an unmarked dhow bound for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the military said Wednesday.

The ammunition, which the US said was sent by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was handed over to Ukraine’s armed forces on Monday following months of internal legal deliberations within the Biden administration.

“The government obtained ownership of these munitions on July 20, 2023 through the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” US Central Command said Wednesday. “The munitions were being transferred from the IRGC to the Houthis in Yemen in violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216,” which constitutes an arms embargo on Yemen amid that country’s ongoing civil war.

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