(PresidentialInsider.com)- President Donald Trump isn’t just cracking down on China lately, but tackling Iran head-on too. The United States this week imposed new terrorism sanctions on the Iranian envoy to Houthis, a measure that could be designed to put pressure on the group to end the ongoing war in Yemen.
The United States Treasury said that Hasan Irlu was a Quds Force official, representing the foreign arms of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Quds Force is also key in the radical Islamic country’s efforts to maintain power in Syria, Yemen, and beyond.
In a statement, the State Department also described how Irlu has recently been sent to Sanaa “as the Iranian regime’s envoy to Houthi rebels.”
“ Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating Hasan Irlu, an official in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and the Iranian regime’s envoy to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF,” the statement reads.
“Iranian support to the Houthis, spearheaded by the IRGC-QF, continues to foment instability in Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. OFAC is also taking action against Iran’s Al-Mustafa International University for facilitating IRGC-QF recruitment efforts and one individual, Yusuf Ali Muraj, who supported the terrorist group’s operations,” it continued.
The United States Treasury blacklisted the Al-Mustafa International University, alleging that it had used its foreign branches to recruit for the Quds Force.
The Epoch Times reports how the decision to target Irlu under Executive Order 13224 “appears in part a signal to the Iran-backed Houthis, who have been battling a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen since 2015.”
Former White House National Security Council Gulf expert Kirsten Fontenrose, who now works in the think tank world, said that the sanction also serves as a warning to the Houthis that the United States may come for them next.
“Come to the table, have these political talks in seriousness, and recognize that this designation is on your doorstep,” she said. “We are taking another step closer.”
The new sanctions mean that any foreign banks that willingly and knowingly facilitate large transactions for the Iranian envoy or university will risk their access to the American financial system.
President Trump is staying tough even in what may be his final weeks as president. Will Joe Biden, should he be inaugurated in January, keep up the pressure?