US Blacklists Iran-Houthi Oil Network

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The US has blacklisted a network that it accuses of providing millions of dollars in proceeds from the sale of Iranian oil to Yemen's Houthi rebels. The Treasury Department said the measure applied to seven people, four companies and a ship -- the Gabon-flagged products tanker Triple Success -- that are part of a network run by Said Ahmad Muhammed al-Jamal. Washington alleges that the network is affiliated with the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards. The Treasury Department designation is part of an apparent attempt to put pressure on the Houthis to agree to a cease-fire (OD May5'21). "The Houthis' ongoing offensive on Marib runs directly counter to those goals, posing a threat to the already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen and potentially triggering increased fighting throughout Yemen," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. Separately, the Treasury Department removed three Iranian oil officials from the blacklist, temporarily roiling the oil market when the action was perceived as a first step toward lifting sanctions on Iran. But State Department spokesperson Ned Price clarified that there was "absolutely no connection" between the international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program and the decision to remove people from the US sanctions list. A Treasury Department official said their removal was part of an administrative process, but did not provide further details. US and Iranian negotiators are set to take part in a sixth round of negotiations in Vienna this weekend aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and lifting sanctions on Iranian oil exports (OD Jun.9'21).

Security Risk , Sanctions
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