A U.S. aircraft carrier is heading to Yemen as part of an effort to intercept Iranian arms shipments to that country’s Shi’a Muslim Houthi rebels.
The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt carrier and its escort ship-the U.S.S. Normandy, a guided-missile carrier-left the Persian Gulf to join other American ships near the Yemenite coast to enforce a blockade, Fox News reported.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not comment on the naval movement, but expressed concern about Iran’s support of the Houthis.
“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen,” Earnest said. “That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.”
The move by the U.S. comes in support of a coalition led by Saudi Arabia against the Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. At the same time, America and other world powers are continuing negotiations with Iran to reach a final nuclear deal by a June 30 deadline. Israel and leading Arab states have criticized the negotiations for not addressing Iran’s role in destabilizing the Middle East and supporting terror groups.