Bab al-Mandab, Yemen
7 December 2023

The U.S. sanctioned thirteen persons and entities that the Treasury Department said were "responsible for providing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of foreign currency generated from the sale and shipment of Iranian commodities, backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), to the Houthis in Yemen”. The State Department contended that “the Iranian regime’s support to the Houthis has enabled unprovoked attacks on civilian infrastructure in Israel and on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Attacks launched from Houthi-controlled areas have also threatened U.S. warships operating in international waters. Such attacks disrupt maritime security and impede freedom of navigation for commercial vessels, increase regional instability and risk broadening the conflict between Israel and Hamas”. The same day, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin conferred with his Saudi counterpart on “Houthi threats to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea”, highlighting “Iran’s dangerous role in advising, arming and training the Houthis”, and expressing “his desire to work with all nations who share an interest in upholding the principle of freedom of navigation and ensuring safe passage for global shipping”.

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