Iran Warned over Consequences of Dodging Ship Inspection

Iran should be ready to shoulder responsibility for any kind of incident that may arise from its failure to let its cargo ship, which is said to be carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, to be searched by Saudi-lead coalition before being allowed into the country, Yemen warned.

Tehran “bears complete responsibility for any incident that arises from their attempt to enter Yemeni waters,” Reuters reported citing a letter of the Yemeni government.

“The Yemeni government and the coalition forces do not object to aid shipments entering Yemen as long as they obtain the necessary permits from the legitimate government of Yemen and are searched prior to entry,” the letter added.

Namely, as of April, any ship bound for a Yemeni port is subject to inspection and approval by the coalition, since the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry imposed a ban on navigation in its territorial waters.

Only emergency food and medical aid vessels are allowed entry and even then only after being searched.

The intention behind the decision is to stop shipments that could assist the Houthi led forces in their conflict with the government forces.

An Iranian-flagged ship, Iran Shahed, is headed for the Yemeni port of Hodaida, which is controlled by Houthi fighters and is bound to be searched.

However, Iranian navy said it would escort the cargo ship to the port adding that it would not allow the inspection to take place.

The move casts doubts on the content of the cargo the ship is carrying as Teheran is believed to be supplying arms to Houthi militias.

The two conflicting sides in Yemen agreed on a five-day ceasefire to allow food and medicine into the starving country that imports 90% of its foodstuffs.

World Maritime News Staff