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Iran’s foreign ministry has rejected accusations from the United States that it has been shipping arms to the Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, according to media reports on Monday. A US admiral said on Thursday that warships from the US Navy and allied nations had intercepted four weapons shipments from Iran to the Arabian Peninsula country since April 2005.
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The shipments contained thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles and “other pieces of other equipment, higher-end weapons systems,” said Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi dismissed the claims.
“These accusations are totally false when… every day destructive arms, US bombs and missiles are dropped by the Arab coalition on the heads of defenceless civilians in schools, hospitals, prisons and homes in Yemen,” he said, quoted in local media on Monday.
Ghassemi said the bombardment amounted to “war crimes”.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly accused Iran of arming the Huthis.
Yemen has been rocked by conflict since the Huthis overran Sanaa and other large parts of the country in 2014, prompting military intervention by a Saudi-led coalition in March last year in support of the internationally recognised government.
The conflict has killed nearly 7,000 people, wounded more than 35,000 and displaced at least three million since the Saudi-led coalition launched military operations, according to the United Nations.