The US administration has started using new pressure cards to force the Iran-backed Houthi militia to agree to peace in Yemen in the wake of failure to push the militia in this direction.
The administration wants the militia to strike a peace deal with the legitimate government in Yemen and reach a comprehensive cessation of hostilities.
It threatened to impose sanctions on financial entities and individuals working for Iran and the Houthi group in Yemen and abroad.
The American pressure was represented in the disclosure and imposition of sanctions on the international financial network of the Houthi group, on which the group relied for its local and international investments and for financing the battlefronts during the past six years of the Yemeni war.
The US sanctions included Saeed al-Jamal, whom it described as the leader of the network. The US administration also included in its list a group of businessmen and shipping experts who support al-Jamal.
Who is he?
The US Department of the Treasury accuses al-Jamal of being an Iran-based financial supporter of the Houthis.
It says he operates a network of front companies and ships that smuggle fuel, petroleum products, and other Iranian goods to customers throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Much of the revenues from these sales are channeled through a complex international network of intermediaries and money exchangers to the Houthis in Yemen, where these revenues help fund the destabilizing regional activities of the Houthis, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, and others, including Hezbollah, the department says.
It adds that al-Jamal’s network generated tens of millions of dollars in revenues by selling Iranian goods to those willing to evade sanctions.
Al-Jamal also has links to Hezbollah and works with the group to send millions of dollars to support the Houthis, the department says.
According to the department, al-Jamal was designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for having provided material, or technological support, goods, or services to or support for Quds Force.