U.S. Sanctions Five Iranians Linked to Revolutionary Guard for Aiding Yemen Militia

The U.S. treasury statement claims those sanctioned provided Yemen's Houthis with expertise and weaponry that were then used to bomb Saudi Arabia

Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, during a rally in support of Hezbollah in Yemen, March, 2016.
Hani Mohammed/AP

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on five Iranians it said had provided Yemen's Houthis with expertise and weaponry that were then used to launch missiles at cities and oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. 

In a statement, the U.S. Treasury named the individuals as Mehdi Azarpisheh, Mohammad Jafari, Mahmud Kazemabad, Javad Shir Amin, and Sayyed Mohammad Tehrani. It said the first four individuals had worked with the Houthis through Iran's Revolutionary Guards, while Tehrani had helped with the financing of the Revolutionary Guard. 

The fresh sanctions, part of President Donald Trump's pledge to economically suffocate Iran in hopes of hampering the country's development of nuclear weapons, come a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would soon crack down on Iran's support for the Houthis.

Yemen's government has been pitched against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement since 2015 in a war driving the country to the verge of famine.

Around 2.9 million women and children are acutely malnourished; another 400,000 children are fighting for their lives, according to a report by the Associated Press. Nearly a third of Yemen’s population — 8.4 million of its 29 million people — rely completely on food aid or else they would starve. That number grew by a quarter over the past year.

 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundation May 21, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
WIN MCNAMEE/AFP