The US lifts sanctions against three Iranian officials and imposes new ones on a Yemeni financial ring.
The Biden administration said on Thursday that sanctions against three former Iranian officials and two firms involved in illicit petroleum transactions would be lifted, claiming that the US had “verified a change in status or behavior” on their side.
According to the Associated Press, the US also imposed fresh penalties on a Yemeni network that the US claimed was working with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to illegally transfer tens of millions of dollars to Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi rebels.
The revisions were announced in a statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as the Biden administration tries to entice Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels into peace talks and strike a deal that would return the US and Iran to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
According to Blinken, the money flowing through the suspected Houthi finance network came from the sale of Iranian petroleum and other commodities across the Middle East.
As Yemen’s six-year-long civil conflict enters its sixth year, international officials and observers say Iran has boosted its material backing for the Houthi rebels. In spite of US and UN appeals for a ceasefire, a Saudi-led coalition is attempting to hold off the Houthis, who have captured the country’s capital and are now waging an offensive to capture a major northern city.
The new US suit names 11 Yemeni individuals, claimed front firms and intermediaries, as well as boats, as participants in the alleged illegal transactions.
Jami’ ‘Ali Muhammad, a Houthi and claimed Iranian Revolutionary Guard collaborator, was among the 11, according to the US, who helped “procure vessels, organize fuel supplies, and transfer monies for the advantage of the Houthis.”
The 2015 nuclear deal calls for Iran to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions imposed by the US and others. Part of the focus of ongoing talks in Vienna has been on the timing of the US eliminating sanctions and the Iranians returning to compliance.
The easing of sanctions against three former Iranian officials and two firms, according to the Biden administration, indicates “our commitment to relaxing sanctions in the event of a change in status or behavior by sanctioned persons.”
Iran was able to do so because to a 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers. This is a condensed version of the information.