Senior defense officials tell NBC News that an Iranian convoy, believed to be carrying weapons destined for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, turned around and is headed north away from that country and toward Iran.
A potential showdown took shape Monday when American ships arrived in the Arabian Sea that U.S. officials said could intercept the convoy. An intercept also could have been carried out by Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the United Arab Emirates, which are patrolling the waters off Yemen.
It’s unlikely US warships, centered on a carrier strike group, would have actually interdicted or boarded the ships of the Iranian convoy. That likely would have been up to the Saudis or their allies.
Mind you, this is just a minor hiccup to the Iranians. Iran has been exporting terror since 1979. They’re used to setbacks like this. They suffer little or no consequences, and so they’ll just try again later. Maybe they’ll try another convoy, or maybe they’ll try a more discrete method.