On Monday, Iran dispatched its warship, Alborz, to the Red Sea, making its way towards Yemeni waters, as reported by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
This move comes shortly after the United States announced the sinking of three ships and the death of 10 Houthi militants in the region.
Meanwhile, Britain issued a stern warning, indicating its readiness to take “direct action” to prevent further attacks on shipping in the area.
The U.S. revealed that the Houthis had attacked a merchant vessel before their efforts were thwarted.
The arrival of the Iranian warship is expected to escalate tensions in the already volatile Middle East, particularly amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Forces allied to Tehran have been implicated in multiple attacks on vessels in the region since the onset of the conflict.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen have been targeting ships since November as a demonstration of their support for Hamas.
Notably, Hamas is designated as a terrorist network by the U.S., the EU, and other entities. In response to the heightened risks, several major shipping companies have opted to avoid the Suez Canal, a critical trade route handling about 12% of global trade.
Instead, they are choosing the longer and more expensive route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
Earlier on Sunday, U.S. helicopters successfully repelled an attack by Iran-backed Houthi militants on a Maersk container vessel in the Red Sea.
The incident resulted in the sinking of three ships and the reported death of 10 militants, according to accounts from American, Maersk, and Houthi officials.
As a precautionary measure, the Danish shipping firm, Maersk, announced a 48-hour suspension of all sailings through the Red Sea.