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Men Charged with Transporting Iranian Weapons to Appear in US Court

February 27, 2024
1 min read
Iranian-made advanced conventional weapons, including critical parts for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, a warhead, as well as propulsion and guidance components, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit
Iranian-made advanced conventional weapons, including critical parts for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, a warhead, as well as propulsion and guidance components, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit

Four crew members of a ship that US officials say was carrying Iranian weapons destined for Yemen's Tehran-backed Houthi rebels are scheduled to appear on February 27 before a federal court in Virginia.

At the detention hearing, prosecutors are expected to argue the defendants should be held without bond while awaiting trial, according to the Associated Press news agency. 

US Central Command says its forces seized the shipment in January after boarding the unflagged vessel in the Arabian Sea.

Two Navy SEALs drowned during the operation.

Iranian-made advanced conventional weapons, including critical parts for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, a warhead, as well as propulsion and guidance components, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. 

The agent said these items are consistent with weapons used by Houthi rebel forces in recent attacks on commercial ships and US military vessels in the region.

The affidavit states that crew members were in contact by phone with a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

All four men were carrying Pakistani identification cards.

Muhammad Pahlawan is charged with attempting to smuggle advanced missile components and with providing false information to US Coast Guard officers during the boarding of the ship.

His codefendants, Mohammad Mazhar, Ghufran Ullah and Izhar Muhammad, were also charged with providing false information.

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