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US blacklists Iran's ambassador to Houthis in Yemen Sanctions Qom-based university for serving as a platform to recruit militias
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 12 - 2020

The United States on Tuesday imposed terrorism-related sanctions on Iran's ambassador to the Houthi militia in Yemen Hasan Irlu and on Iran's Al-Mustafa International University.
In a statement on Tuesday, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it 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.
"Iranian support to the Houthis, spearheaded by the IRGC-QF, continues to foment instability in Yemen, the world's worst humanitarian crisis, the statement read.
The OFAC said it 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. Al-Mustafa International University, which has branches around the world, is used as a recruitment platform by the IRGC-QF for intelligence collection and operations, including recruitment for the IRGC-QF-led foreign militias fighting on behalf of Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.
"Today, the US is designating Hasan Irlu, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps– Qods Force officer, and an individual and a university supporting IRGC-QF recruitment operations. Iran's support for the Houthis fuels the conflict in Yemen and exacerbates the country's instability," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted.
Commenting on fresh Iran-related sanctions, US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said: "The appointment of an IRGC-QF official as an envoy to the Houthi rebels in Yemen demonstrates the Iranian regime's indifference to resolving the conflict, which has led to the widespread suffering of millions of Yemenis."
"Additionally, the IRGC-QF's recruitment of foreign students for intelligence operations illustrates the degree to which the group has infiltrated Iranian society in order to achieve its destructive goals. These efforts, and the pervasive role the IRGC-QF plays in Iranian foreign policy, contribute to the erosion of trust in Iran's public and private institutions." — SG


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