ספינה יו אס אס נורמנדי
The USS Normandy
The USS Normandy

U.S. warship in Arabian Sea seizes suspected Iranian weapons

USS Normandy boarded dhow on Sunday, seizing anti-tank guided missiles, surface-to-air missiles; Senate moves to limit Trump's ability to wage war against Iran; Revolutionary Guard chief says ready to strike U.S., Israel if they give cause

Reuters |
Published: 02.13.20 , 22:03
A U.S. Navy warship seized weapons believed to be of Iranian "design and manufacture," including more than 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, the U.S. military said on Thursday.
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  • In a statement, the U.S. military said the USS Normandy boarded a dhow in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.
    U.S. forces board a dhow in the Arabian Sea to seize suspected Iranian weapons

    "The weapons seized include 150 'Dehlavieh' anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs," the statement said.
    ספינה יו אס אס נורמנדי ספינה יו אס אס נורמנדי
    The USS Normandy
    "Other weapons components seized aboard the dhow were of Iranian design and manufacture and included three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes, and Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels" it added.
    It did not say what kind of surface-to-air missiles were seized.

    Limited war powers

    The announcement came as the U.S. Senate backed legislation to limit President Donald Trump's ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran's retaliation last month raised fears of broader regional conflict.
    Eight of Trump's fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45.
    דונלד טראמפ נאום בבית הלבן הבית הלבן אחרי הזיכוי משפט ההדחהדונלד טראמפ נאום בבית הלבן הבית הלבן אחרי הזיכוי משפט ההדחה
    U.S. President Donald Trump
    (Photo: MCT)
    The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force.
    Trump has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override. Republicans in the chamber hold 53 of the 100 seats and rarely vote against the president.
    Opponents said the resolution's passage would send the wrong message to Tehran.
    "We need to send a message of firmness, and not weakness," said Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, a lead sponsor of the resolution, disputed that. He said the vote showed strength and reflected the importance of Congress weighing in on the decision to deploy U.S. troops.
    "If we're to order our young men and women in uniform to risk their lives and health in war, it should be on the basis of careful deliberation," he said.

    'We will hit both of you'

    Meanwhile, the head of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a live broadcast on state television Thursday that Iran is ready to strike the United States and Israel if they give it any reason to do so.
    "If you make the slightest error, we will hit both of you," Major General Hossein Salami said in a speech at a ceremony marking the 40th day since the death of top commander Qassem Soleimani.
    Soleimani, who was head of the Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC responsible for operations outside Iran, was killed by a U.S. drone in Baghdad on Jan. 3 along with Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
    קאסם סולימאניקאסם סולימאני
    Qassem Soleimani, center, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad last month
    (Photo: AP)
    The killing of Soleimani will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem, the spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards said earlier, according to the Tasnim news agency.
    "The cowardly and craven assassination of commander Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis by the Americans will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem, by the grace of God," Ramezan Sharif said.
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week that Iran would support Palestinian armed groups as much as it could and urged Palestinians to confront a new U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
    Trump's plan would set up a Palestinian state with strict conditions but allow Israel to take over its long-contested settlements in the West Bank.
    Palestinian leaders reject it as biased towards Israel.
    Separately, Soleimani urged Iranians to support Khamenei and said political factions should put aside their differences.
    He made the call in his will, which was read by the new Quds Force chief, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, at a ceremony in Tehran.

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