US Authorizes Transactions With Houthis Despite Earlier Terrorist Designation

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US Authorizes Transactions With Houthis Despite Earlier Terrorist Designation

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On January 25, the US Treasury Department authorized transactions Yemen’s Houthis (officially known as the Ansar Allah movement) for 30 days despite the earlier designation of the movement as a foreign terrorist organization by the Trump administration.

The issued license  allows all transactions involving the Houthis or any entity in which it owns 50% percent or more – though not its blacklisted leaders – until February 26, 2021.

“Foreign financial institutions do not risk exposure to … sanctions … if they knowingly conduct or facilitate a transaction” for the Houthis, the Treasury Department clarified.

This moves goes contrary to the Trump administration’s designation of the movement as a terrorist group on January 11, nine days before new US President Joe Biden took office. The move was made as a part of the US-led anti-Iranian campaign in the region due to the Houthis’ close ties with Iran and their successful war against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

It is not expected that the Biden administration will fully reverse the move or fully turn back from supporting Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the Yemeni conflict. Nonetheless, it may try to soften some of the Trump administration’s latest decision to widen its freedom of maneuver in the potential negotiations with Iran.

A brief summary of the recent developments:

  • The Liaison and Coordination Officers’ Operations Room (loyal to Ansar Allah) reported 161 ceasefire violations in al-Hudaydah during the past 24 hours;
  • On January 25, Saudi-led coalition warplanes conducted 18 airstrikes on the Sarwah area;
  • On January 25, Saudi-led coalition warplanes conducted 2 airstrikes on the Nate area;
  • On January 25, an explosion took place in the Mansoura district of Aden city;
  • On January 25, Yemeni people in various cities held large-scale protests against the US hostility and the siege of Yemen.

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