The U.S. Treasury Department revealed on Friday that it has taken additional measures to impose sanctions on a significant financier of Yemen's Houthi rebel group, which also includes a network of ships used to raise funds.

This action is part of a broader effort by the United States and its allies to curb a series of attacks carried out by the Iranian-backed rebel group. These attacks have targeted ships traveling through strategic routes in the Red Sea en route to the Suez Canal.

The decision to expand sanctions comes on the heels of a joint military operation carried out by the U.S. and other nations against Houthi targets in Yemen. The rebel group has justified their attacks on ships by claiming solidarity with Palestinians involved in the conflict with Israel, and they have vowed to respond in kind.

These attacks have raised concerns that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas could escalate, drawing in not only Western powers but also Iran, leading to a wider regional conflict in the Middle East.

According to the announcement made by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), two companies based in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates have been designated as sanctioned entities. Additionally, four ships owned by these companies are also subject to sanctions, effectively prohibiting any U.S. company or bank from conducting business with them.

OFAC has identified Hong Kong's Cielo Maritime, Ltd., and the UAE's Global Tech Marine Services, Inc. as the companies involved. These entities have been implicated in transporting Iranian commodities that were subsequently sold to generate revenue for a network supervised by Sa'id al-Jamal, an Iranian-backed financier of the Houthi rebels.

Taking Action Against Illicit Iranian Financial Networks

The United States is relentless in its efforts to combat the illicit Iranian financial networks that support the Houthis and enable their attacks. Brian E. Nelson, the Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, emphasized the joint commitment with allies and partners to halt the destabilizing activities of the Houthis, safeguarding global commerce.

Targeting a Previously Sanctioned Individual

As part of these ongoing efforts, attention has now turned towards Al-Jamal, who had already faced U.S. sanctions due to his alleged involvement in financing the Houthis.

Misuse of Forged Documents

Investigations revealed that the implicated ships had utilized forged documents to facilitate the transportation of Iranian products abroad. Despite long-standing U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil shipments, Iran has managed to circumvent these restrictions for years using foreign-registered vessels, altered manifests, and other deceptive tactics.

Write Your Comment