Iran issues strong warning to U.S. amid concerns of cargo ship targeting in West Asia

Iran sent a stern warning to the United States about possible cargo ship targeting in West Asia. Growing tensions surround Behshad and Saviz, who are believed to be supporting Iranian commandos.

Iran expressed concern over the possible targeting of two cargo ships in West Asia and sent a strong warning to the United States on Sunday. With the recent attacks by the United States and the United Kingdom in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, the Behshad and Saviz, which have long been suspected of acting as forward operating bases for Iranian commandos, have gained prominence.

Six provinces in Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, were hit by the airstrikes that targeted Houthi rebels. The United States reported striking rebel-operated helicopters, launch pads, and underground missile stockpiles. The strikes were a form of retaliation for the three American soldiers who were killed and numerous others injured in Jordan; the latter incident was connected to Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Iran is believed to have responded to the wider regional tensions by issuing a warning over the Behshad and Saviz ships. The vessels, which are registered as commercial cargo ships with a Tehran-based business that the US Treasury has sanctioned, have been lingering out in the Red Sea off Yemen for years, possibly acting as covert ops locations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

The Houthis were forewarned by U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to refrain from unlawful attacks on foreign maritime and naval vessels, underscoring the dire repercussions of doing so. In line with this sentiment, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron demanded an end to Houthi attacks.

Reportedly serving as a “floating armoury,” the Behshad is supposed to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, according to a video statement made by Iran’s regular Army. Iran’s role in current measures against Somali piracy is however unknown. Docked in Djibouti close to a Chinese military installation, the Behshad recently made its way south into the Gulf of Aden.

Currently, in the Indian Ocean, the Saviz has been attacked before; in 2021, an explosion of a suspected limpet mine forced Iran to return the ship home. This episode is part of a larger shadow war that Tehran and Israel are engaged in as a result of the Iran nuclear deal’s breakdown.

At the end of the video, the statement was a warning to individuals who engage in terrorist acts against the Behshad or other similar vessels, putting international maritime routes and security at risk and holding the entire world accountable for potential future risks.