Iranian Weapons Seized by Australian Navy

Alex Castillo, Copy Editor

The Australian Navy ships discovered a small dhow full of weapons in the Arabian Sea, seemingly sailing towards Somalia from Iran, on March 7 as an attempt to arm the Somali rebels in the ongoing Somali civil war. Iran has been known as supporters of the Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels in Somalia and this attempt to arm the rebels has made the United States more alert of the issues in the Middle East and East Africa.


Luisa Villaseñor, 11, is a firm believer in American isolationism.


“I really don’t think America should do anything about it,” Villaseñor said. “I know it sounds kind of wrong, but it’s not really our problem. It’s not happening here in the United States.”


Inside the dhow, a total of over 2000 weapons were found inside a storage department. This grand total consisted of 1,989 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 49 PKM machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 mortar tubes, according to a statement from the Australian Navy.


Unlike Villaseñor, Zachary Young, 11, thinks that the U.S. should do something about the potential danger to the U.S. from the gunboat.


“Personally, I think Obama should send some kind of like assessment team over to the area or something to figure out what the real story is,” Young said. “Maybe the U.S. should get involved in the boat situation because they might be arming other countries to help go to war with us one day.”


As a result of the apprehension of the weapon-carrying ship, the United Nations, a global peacekeeping organization consisting of 193 countries, has placed multiple sanctions on Somalian trade. These sanctions state that the delivery of illegal weapons to Somalia is strictly prohibited. The United States is expected to receive these confiscated arms and will soon be processing, inspecting, and eventually disposing of them.


Junior, Serenity Reynoso, is a heavy advocator of global peace and thinks the United States should get involved, but only as a mediator and not as an offensive force.


“I kind of think that restricting the trade of guns to these countries can maybe be a good thing,” Reynoso said. “I would like to see a more peaceful way of figuring out the issues over there in that part of the world.”


In accordance with International Maritime Law, each crewmember of the dhow was set free. Despite the capture of Iranian weapons, the war between the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed de facto government still rages on with no end in the near future.