US and UK sanction IRGC deputy commander and Houthi member

Washington also takes aim at companies operating vessel shipping Iranian commodities to businesses in China

Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps standing in formation during a military parade in 2019. AFP / Iranian Presidency Handout
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The US and UK have imposed sanctions on a deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force as well as a member of Yemen's Houthi rebels, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday.

Mohammad Reza Falahzadeh of the Quds Force and Houthi financier Said Al Jamal were designated under the latest the sanctions.

The Treasury also announced sanctions on the owner of a vessel used to ship Iranian commodities to support the Houthis and the Quds Force.

Washington says revenue generated from those networks supports the Houthis' efforts to conduct drone and missile attacks in the Middle East.

The Houthis have been striking ships in the Red Sea since the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza war, drawing a response from the US and UK who have attacked sites linked to the group in Yemen.

Washington relisted the Houthis as a specially designated terrorist group last month in response to the strikes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

“Today’s action underscores our resolve to target efforts by the IRGC-QF and the Houthis to evade US sanctions and fund further attacks in the region,” said Brian E Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

The UK sanctioned three additional organisations for their role in providing support to the Houthis as part of its Iran and Yemen sanctions regimes.

“All those who seek to undermine regional stability should know that the UK, alongside our allies, will not hesitate to act,” UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.

Treasury also announced sanctions against two companies that operate a vessel shipping more than $100 million in Iranian commodities to businesses in China on behalf of Iran's Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics.

Iran's Defence Ministry orchestrated the shipment of Iranian commodities aboard the Panama-flagged vessel Kohana in January, Treasury said.

The ship is currently en route to China, where it intends to offload its cargo.

Tehran continues to enable the delivery of Iranian weapons to support Russia in its war against Ukraine and to Iran-backed militia groups in the Middle East, the Treasury added.

Updated: February 27, 2024, 3:54 PM