The shipment includes surface-to-air missiles and cruise missile engines – believed to be intended for Yemen’s Houthi rebels. If the drone’s memory is not cleared, the source of the broadcast will be revealed.
Iran goes to great lengths to hide the weapons and missiles it smuggles to allies in the region.
They do this to avoid leaving evidence of violations of UN resolutions and hope to reduce the risk of further sanctions.
But they forgot to erase the drone’s memory.
When British Ministry of Defense officials in London decrypted the device, they found footage of 22 test flights conducted at the Headquarters of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Tehran.
The findings specifically link shipments to Iran. It includes a surface-to-air missile armed with a warhead and a jet engine for a land attack cruise missile, wrapped in a plastic bundle.
Iranian missile haul intercepted by Royal Navy ‘proves regime is breaking UN resolutions’ https://t.co/hyJFIiHnSX— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 13, 2023
The Royal Navy discovered the broadcast when it intercepted a high-speed motorboat in the open waters of the Persian Gulf in January last year.
Wildcat helicopters were deployed to use the motion of their propellers to immobilize the ship and force the crew to take cover below decks.
A Royal Marine sent to search the ship sees a swarm of deadly missiles.
The ship is believed to have been operated by smugglers and was traveling for the Houthis, allies of Iran, who are fighting in Yemen.
Middle East Foreign Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “Once again, the Iranian regime has been exposed for its reckless weapons proliferation and destabilizing activities in the region.”
Iran is accused of violating a series of UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting the delivery of drones and missiles to other countries.
Sanctions imposed on Iran will not be lifted as long as it violates the resolution.
Iran has gone to great lengths to cover up its missile and drone export efforts. This removed any traces of the Persian from the rocket parts, some of which were rebuilt from Western components.
But its scientists’ failure to wipe the quadcopter’s internal memory presented damning evidence to UN inspectors that Iran continues to violate resolutions controlling its exports of lethal weaponry.