Riyadh/Washington: The Secretary of Foreign Affairs and aid organizations sounded the alarm after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Sunday that Washington would take action to declare the Houthi Movement in Yemen a foreign terrorist organization.
The blacklisted Iranian Alignment Group, which was first reported by Reuters earlier in the hour, this decision comes as the administration of President-elect Biden prepares to take over from the Trump administration on January 20.
“The Department of State will notify Congress of my intent to designate Ansar Allah sometimes referred to as the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO)”, Pompeo said in a statement late on Sunday.
The Trump administration has been piling on sanctions related to Iran in recent weeks, prompting some Biden allies and outside analysts to conclude that Trump aides are seeking to make it harder for the incoming administration to re-engage with Iran and rejoin an international nuclear agreement.
“I also intend to designate three of Ansar Allah’s leaders, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists”, Pompeo said.
He added that the United States plans to take measures to reduce the impact of this step on humanitarian activities and Yemen’s imports.
Pompeo said that with the implementation of these designations taking effect on January 19, the U.S. Treasury Department will provide some licenses that will apply to some humanitarian activities conducted by NGOs in Yemen and related to important commodities such as food. Export of certain transactions and medicines to Yemen.