The United States imposed sanctions against 13 individuals and entities on Thursday accused of funneling tens of millions of foreign currency to Yemen’s Houthi group through the sale and shipment of Iranian commodities.

The US Treasury asserted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran’s paramilitary and espionage force, supported this scheme, involving a complex network of exchange houses and firms in several countries, including Yemen, Turkey, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson stated that Iran’s funds have supported recent Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, posing a threat to international trade.

Nelson emphasised that Iran continues to provide funding and support to the Houthis, resulting in unprovoked attacks on civilian infrastructure and commercial shipping.

The Houthis claim responsibility for drone and missile attacks against Israel and Israeli ships in the Red Sea, citing retaliation for Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza. Iran denies involvement in these attacks.

Washington has said that US warships have downed missiles and drones fired by the Houthis although the Pentagon says it has not been clear that the American vessels were actually targeted. US warships have also intercepted attacks on commercial ships that the US military says were linked to multiple nations.

The Treasury identified Said al-Jamal, an “Iran-based Houthi financial facilitator,” and Bilal Hudroj, a Lebanon-based exchange house operator, as key figures already under US sanctions.

Al-Jamal allegedly used exchange houses to funnel Iranian commodity proceeds to the Houthis and the IRGC, while Hudroj assisted in remittances to the Houthis.

The 13 entities and individuals affected by the sanctions include a jewelry shop and exchange house in Turkey, as well as entities in St. Kitts and Nevis, Britain, and Russia involved in exchange houses, shipping, and individual capacities.

Source » firstpost