Obama Says U.S. Has Warned Iran Not to Send Weapons To Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the U.S. government had sent "very direct messages" to Iran warning it not to send weapons to Yemen that could be used to threaten shipping traffic in the region.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday the presence of a large convoy of Iranian cargo ships in the Arabian Sea was one factor in the U.S. decision to deploy additional warships in the waters off war-torn Yemen.

But Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, dismissed reports the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and cruiser USS Normandy had been sent to the region to intercept Iranian ships carrying arms to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fighting forces loyal to the U.S.-backed Yemeni president.

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