The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned members of a smuggling network that U.S. officials say helps finance the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Houthi fighters aligned with Iran in Yemen.
Treasury officials said the network, allegedly led by Iranian financier Houthi Sa’id al-Jamal, directs funds from the sale of Iranian oil through a complex network of intermediaries and exchange offices in several countries. to the Houthis in Yemen.
“The financial support of this network.” allows the Houthis’ deplorable attacks threatening civilian and critical infrastructure in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, ”said in a statement Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s External Assets Control Office.
“These attacks undermine efforts to end the conflict and, most tragically, starve tens of millions of innocent civilians,” Gacki said.
The war, which erupted in 2014 when Houthi fighters ousted the Saudi-backed government from the capital Sanaa, made Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 20 million people are in need of assistance, and four million have been uprooted from their homes, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands of people have died.
American President Joe Biden has called to the end to the proxy war in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and Iran and ordered U.S. officials to seek diplomatic solutions to the conflict.
“The United States is working to help resolve the conflict in Yemen and to bring lasting humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday.
“It’s time for the Houthis to accept a ceasefire and for all parties to resume political discussions,” Blinken said.
In February, the United States announced it would end “all U.S. support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales” although Biden said he would continue to “help l ‘Saudi Arabia to defend its sovereignty’.
Last week, a Houthi missile attack killed 17, including a five-year-old girl, in the besieged Yemeni city of Marib.
New U.S. sanctions seek to deny access to the global financial system to al-Jamal and major trading partners in Turkey, Greece and the UAE, the U.S. Treasury said on its website.
At the same time, officials from the Biden administration have lifted sanctions on three Iranian government officials and two companies that previously participated in the trade in Iranian oil products.
Oil prices fell on Thursday on the news, but a U.S. official told Reuters news agency that the lifting of sanctions was “routine” and a State Department spokesman said. he said the move was not in line with multilateral talks aimed at reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.
A sixth round of talks between Iran and world powers on how to revive the 2015 nuclear deal is set to resume over the next weekend, just days before Iran’s June 18 presidential election is scheduled to take place. new leadership to power in Tehran.
On Tuesday, Blinken said that even if Iran were to return to compliance with the nuclear agreement, known as the Common Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), “hundreds of sanctions would remain in place.”
Texas Intermediate West crude rose to more than $ 70 a barrel Thursday, the highest level in more than two years, optimizing for strong economic demand in the United States, Reuters said.
Among those identified as targets of U.S. sanctions just announced Thursday were Abdi Nasir Ali Mahamud, a Turkish-based Houthi supporter who allegedly coordinated the smuggling of petrochemicals to the Aldoon General Trading network and companies.
Manoj Sabharwal, a director of maritime transport in the UAE, Hani Abd-al-Majid Muhammad As’ad, an accountant in Turkey, Jami Ali Muhammad, a Somali businessman, has also been called in for sanctions.
Two Syrian men, Tlaib Ali Husayn Al-Ahmad al-Rawi based in Turkey, and Abdul Jalil Mallah, based in Greece, allegedly facilitated the transfers to an exchange house in Yemen affiliated with the Houthis.