US Sanctions Iran’s Envoy in Yemen

Treasury Department also targets an Iranian university and a Pakistani national living in Iran

On Tuesday, the US announced a fresh round of Iran sanctions, as the Trump administration ramps up the “maximum pressure” campaign in its final days. The sanctions target Iran’s envoy to Yemen, an Iranian university, and a Pakistani national living in Iran.

The US sanctioned Hasan Irlu, who Iran sent to Yemen in October to represent the Islamic Republic in the Houthi-controlled capital. The US Treasury Department claims Irlu is a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force.

“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,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The US likes to blame Iran for the situation in Yemen despite the lack of evidence that Tehran supports the Houthis militarily. While Tehran openly supports the Houthis politically, it’s not clear how much military support they provide.

What is clear is Washington’s full-throated support for the Saudi-led coalition, the party in the conflict with the most blood on its hands. Since the US-backed coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, it has regularly bombed civilian targets and enforced a tight blockade on the country. The coalition’s siege tactics have caused severe food shortages, malnutrition, and widespread disease.

The Trump administration is considering designating the Houthis as a terror group, a move that would have dire consequences on the civilian population of Yemen. About 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives in Houthi-controlled areas, and most are reliant on aid. If the Houthis are added to the US terror list, it will hobble the international charities that deliver aid to those areas.

The US also claims Al-Mustafa International University, which was also sanctioned on Tuesday, is connected to the IRGC-QF. The Treasury Department said that Yousef Ali Muraj, the Pakistani targeted by the latest sanctions, has been “involved in the IRGC-QF’s efforts to coordinate, plan and execute operations in the Middle East and United States.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.