Iranian warships will accompany a cargo ship bound for the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. The Iran-flagged Iran Shahed cargo ship set sail on Monday and could be intercepted by Saudi-led coalition forces.
The Saudi-led coalition has accused Iran of arming the Houthis. Their naval forces have imposed inspections on all ships trying to enter Yemeni ports – looking for weapons bound for Houthi fighters.
“The 34th fleet, which is currently in the Gulf of Aden, has special responsibility to protect the Iranian humanitarian aid ship,” Admiral Hossein Azad said, referring to a destroyer and support vessel patrolling international waters off Yemen.
A five-day ceasefire in Yemen’s civil war is set to take effect at 11 p.m. (04:00 p.m. EDT) to allow food and medicine into the country, which aid groups warn faces a humanitarian catastrophe.
Tehran says it is sending only humanitarian aid to Yemen. The Iran Shahed vessel was sailing away from Iran’s coast into the Gulf of Oman at 1334 GMT (09:34 EDT), ship tracking data on Reuters showed.