Wednesday, April 17, 2024

US, UK impose sanctions on IRGC, Yemen’s Houthi members over Red Sea tensions

The United States and the United Kingdom have announced sanctions against a high-ranking member of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and certain members of Yemen’s Houthi movement.

The move comes amid escalated tensions over the targeting of Israel-linked shipping in the Red Sea.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement on Tuesday that Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, the deputy commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, and Ibrahim al-Nashiri, a member of the Yemeni movement, had been placed on Washington’s sanctions list.

The department also blacklisted Cap Tees Shipping Co., Ltd, which owns and operates a vessel for shipping Iranian commodities, over accusations of providing support both to the Quds Force and the Yemeni movement.

And Britain’s Foreign Office noted the UK’s sanctions targeted Fallahzadeh, three units of the Quds Force as well as Ali Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi, the commander of Yemen’s security forces, and Saeed al-Jamal, a financier who heads a network of vessels.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron accused Iran of backing the Yemeni resistance movement and claimed the Islamic Republic “bears responsibility” for latest attacks by the Yemeni military on ships either owned by Israel or sailing to the occupied territories in the Red Sea.

Iran has on numerous occasions asserted that the resistance forces across the region take no orders from the Islamic Republic and act independently on their own accord.

Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched hostilities in Gaza on October 7, 2023, after resistance movements in the territory carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm.

The Yemeni armed forces have stressed they will not stop retaliatory strikes until Israel’s unrelenting ground and aerial operations in Gaza, which have killed nearly 30,000 people and wounded around 70,000, come to a complete end.

The maritime attacks have forced some of the biggest shipping and oil companies to suspend transit through one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes.

The United States and Britain have been carrying out strikes against Yemen since early January, after Washington and its allies offered Israel their full support amid attacks by Yemeni forces on those ships in the Red Sea.

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