Senator Ted Cruz calls for terror designation on Houthis

Politician introduced a new bill last week urging congress to sanction the Iran-backed group

Senator Ted Cruz has consistently opposed President Joe Biden's softening of policy towards the Houthis, Reuters

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has again called for the US to designate Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militia as a terrorist organisation and reimpose sanctions on the group.

Last week, he introduced a bill that would reverse a February 2021 decision by the Biden administration to lift terrorism-related sanctions on the Houthis and their leaders.

Mr Cruz's bill would redesignate the group as a foreign terrorist organisation and its leaders as designated global terrorists.

“President Biden made it an immediate priority to unwind pressure on Iran and its proxies, including by lifting terrorism sanctions on the Houthis and their leaders – a reckless, self-indulgent, and catastrophic move," Mr Cruz said as he introduced his bill.

“This appeasement predictably caused Iran to escalate its aggression across the region, and in Yemen the Houthis launched a broad offensive within hours of the Biden administration’s announcement they would lift those sanctions.

“I’ve consistently sought to reimpose those sanctions and it’s now clear that if the Biden administration is unwilling to do so, then Congress should mandate that they do.”

Eight other senators, including Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, Roger Marshall, Thom Tillis, Jim Inhofe, Marco Rubio and John Barrasso, co-sponsored Mr Cruz's bill.

It comes after two Houthi attacks on the UAE and Saudi Arabia. On Monday, the Houthis launched two missiles towards Abu Dhabi, aiming at a base hosting the US military, but the attempt was thwarted.

Updated: January 25, 2022, 6:41 AM