US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo explained that he would notify Congress of this decision in order to strengthen the “deterrence against the harmful activities of the Iranian regime”, support of the Yemeni rebel group against the government backed by a coalition led by the Saudi Arabia ally of Washington.
Three Houthi leaders are also blacklisted, including their main leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi.
This sanction aims to hold the Houthis “accountable for their terrorist acts, in particular for the cross-border attacks threatening the civil populations, the infrastructures and the maritime transport”, declared Mike Pompeo.
The announcement was expected since the presidential election on November 3 in the United States. Several non-governmental organizations and international institutions feared that the defeated President Trump would seek to strike a major diplomatic blow against Iran, his sworn enemy in the Middle East, before arriving at the White House on the 20th. January, from Democrat Joe Biden, who wants to resume dialogue with Tehran.
According to these organizations, this decision risks causing a paralysis of the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen and a tilting of the country at war into famine.
“The United States recognizes that there are concerns about the impact these designations will have on the humanitarian situation in Yemen,” said Mike Pompeo. “We plan to put in place measures to reduce their impact on certain humanitarian activities and imports,” he added.