On Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a statement announcing that an Iranian-based money network and some of its members had been imposed sanctions. According to the statement, the smuggling network provided money for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran-backed Houthi group in Yemen.
The statement noted that “This network’s financial support enables the Houthis’ deplorable attacks threatening civilians and critical infrastructure in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. These attacks undermine efforts to bring the conflict to an end and, most tragically, starve tens of millions of innocent civilians.”
Stating that the network is led by Houthi financier Sa’id Al Jamal, residing in Iran, the statement indicated that the money is raised by selling the Iranian oil and directed this amount through a complex web of intermediary in multiple countries to Houthis in Yemen.
On May 20, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two Houthi military officials who were in charge of leading the group’s military offensive towards both Saudi territory and Yemen’s Marib region.
On the other hand, the decision came following the US lifting sanctions on three former Iranian government officials and two companies.
Meanwhile, international efforts to provide a suitable medium for talks to ensure political settlement in the war-devastated country have intensified. Last month, the US Special Envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, paid a visit to Saudi Arabia and Oman to discuss ways of a political solution in Yemen.
Following the US official’s visit, Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, visited Sanaa, the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, where he met with Houthi officials to discuss the ways of providing nationwide ceasefire and launching negotiations for a political solution in the country.
Additionally, an Omani delegation, accompanied by the Houthi top negotiator Mohammad Abdulsalam, traveled to Sanaa to hold talks with the Houthi representatives. The delegation’s visit came as the first of its kind since the civil war outbroke in 2014.
Following these intensified efforts, the Saudi-led coalition announced that air raids had been stopped to provide an opportunity for peace talks.