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U.S. Warship Heading to Yemeni Waters to Intercept Iranian Weapons Shipment

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a media briefing with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani at the Saadabad palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. Navy officials say the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen and will join other American ships prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi (HOO'-thee) rebels fighting in Yemen.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a media briefing with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani at the Saadabad palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea amid reports that a convoy of Iranian ships may be headed toward Yemen to arm the Houthis.

The Houthis are battling government-backed fighters in an effort to take control of the country.

There are about nine U.S. ships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ship movement on the record.

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