US Sends Captured Iranian Weapons to Ukraine

On Apr. 4, 2024, the U.S. Central Command said the government transferred over 5,000 AK-47s, machine guns, sniper rifles, RPG-7s and over 500,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces. This constitutes enough materiel to equip one Ukrainian brigade with small arms rifles.¬† These weapons will help Ukraine defend against Russia’s invasion.

The government obtained ownership of these munitions on December 1, 2023, through the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

These munitions were originally seized by U.S. Central Command and partner naval forces from four separate transiting stateless vessels between 22 May 2021 to 15 Feb 2023. The munitions were being transferred from the IRGC to the Houthis in Yemen in violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216. U.S. CENTCOM is committed to working with allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region by all lawful means including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and through interdictions.

U.S. Central Command stated Iran’s support for armed groups threatens international and regional security, U.S. forces, diplomatic personnel, and citizens in the region, as well as those of their partners.