Tehran Responds to US Yemen Sanctions in Kind
In a diplomatic tit-for-tat, Iran late Wednesday evening announced it had blacklisted the United States ambassador to Yemen, Christopher Henzel, only 24 hours after Washington placed its own sanctions on the Iranian envoy to the war-torn state. Henzel was slapped with sanctions for his “pivotal role” in financing and arming the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi government in Saana, Iran’s foreign ministry said, adding that the American envoy had helped violate Yemenis’ human rights. The statement came on the heels of Tuesday’s White House announcement it had sanctioned Tehran’s ambassador to Yemen along with another Iranian official and an Iranian university, all accused of serving the Quds Force, the foreign arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said to spearhead the Guard’s terrorist activities in the region. Yemen has been mired in a bloody civil war since 2014, when the Houthi movement, a Shi’ite group aligned and supported by Tehran, toppled president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. A coalition of armies led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the US has since waged war to reinstate the ousted regime. The conflict is considered by the United Nations to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.