Kuwait denies Iran misusing its waters to supply Houthis
KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday denied a Reuters report that Iran was using the state’s waters to smuggle weapons and equipment to Houthi forces in Yemen. “The State of Kuwait refutes news by the Reuters news agency regarding Iran’s exploitation of Kuwaiti waters to deliver arms and military assistance to the Houthis in Yemen,” a foreign ministry statement said. A source at the ministry said that the country’s waters are under the total control of the Kuwaiti navy and coastguard, adding that there were no reports of suspicious marine movements or activities.
The ministry urged international media to investigate such matters “more thoroughly”. On Tuesday, Reuters cited sources familiar with the matter as saying that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had begun using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen’s civil war. For the last six months, Western and Iranian sources say the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat
an embargo on arms shipments to the Houthi movement. Using this new route, Iranian ships were transferring equipment to smaller vessels at the northern end of the Gulf, where they face less scrutiny. The transshipments take place in Kuwaiti waters and in nearby international shipping lanes, the sources said. Yemen is more than two years into a civil war pitting the Iran-aligned Houthis against the government of President AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition. — Agencies