US military reports reveal that they have delivered nearly one million Iranian rounds to Ukraine over the course of this year, according to official information available.
Centcom, which oversees operations in the Middle East, says they were taken off a vessel headed for Yemen in December.
Recently, Ukraine’s Western allies issued a warning that production lines have difficulty keeping pace with how fast Ukraine uses up ammunition stocks.
Centcom confirmed on Monday, that Iranian rounds had arrived in Ukraine.
According to reports, US Navy forces initially confiscated these arms on 9 December from an unknown vessel known as “MARWAN 1.”
In July, the US government acquired ownership over these assets through civil forfeiture proceedings – an action wherein assets may be confiscated should their owners have been suspected of criminal activities.
In this case, litigation was filed against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; an arm of Iran’s military that is charged with protecting its government.
Centcom released a statement declaring its dedication to working together with allies and partners “in order to stop Iranian efforts at providing deadly aid into the region using all legal avenues”.
Iran has traditionally supported Yemen’s Houthi rebels during their civil war; however, the transfer of weapons is banned under a UN Security Council resolution adopted in 2015.
Beginning in 2014, Yemenis faced their greatest crisis to date when Houthi rebels took over Sanaa as the country’s capital city and overthrew its administration.
Yemen remains internationally recognized under a Saudi-led alliance supported by both the US and UK, even after being overthrown.
Iran was accused of providing Russia with weapons – most specifically drones – during Ukraine’s ongoing conflict.
On Monday during a debate at the Warsaw Security Forum over Western countries supplying ammunition to Ukraine, Adm Rob Bauer, chair of NATO’s Military Committee stated that its supply can “be seen”.
Lack of investment over decades led to Nato countries beginning the conflict with ammunition stocks half full or almost completely empty.
“Our just-in-time, just-enough economic system created in the past 30 years of liberal economies can be utilized for various uses; however, not military forces if an ongoing war exists,” according to him.
The minister also stated that both government agencies and manufacturers of arms must “intensify production at an equivalent pace”.
Allies of Ukraine allege they lack ammunition.
At Congress, UK Defence Minister James Heappey encouraged Nato allies to allocate two percent of their national earnings towards defense – an agreement across all 31 members that may only be met this year by 11 out of 31 nations.
Iranian ammunition transfer has come at a time when President Biden and his administration are searching for additional methods of aiding Ukraine despite opposition from some in Congress.
Officials have recently issued warnings that Ukraine has almost exceeded the budget allotment currently allocated, yet pressure from right-wing Republican groups has not prevented members of the House from allocating additional funds.
On Tuesday, some lawmakers secured a majority vote to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – which will postpone any decisions about additional aid until their replacement has been selected and installed later next week.
Any future Speaker who attempts to take a vote regarding an issue on the floor may well encounter significant resistance from members of his or her own caucus or Senate.