US Slaps Yet More Sanctions on Iranian Personnel
The United States Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two Iranian officials and an academic institute, all linked to the Quds Force, the elite overseas branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Washington blacklisted Hasan Irlu, Iran’s envoy to the Yemeni Houthi government currently battling a Saudi-led coalition for control of Yemen, and Yousef Ali Muraj, a Pakistani affiliated with the Quds Force and based in Tehran. It also placed sanctions on Iran’s Al-Mustafa International University, accusing it of using its platforms as a recruiting device for the hostile military arm. The US government designates the Quds Force a foreign terrorist organization. In recent months, President Donald Trump’s administration has stepped up its punitive efforts against Iranian officials and companies it alleges foster terrorism in the Middle East. Last month, Washington threatened to blacklist the Houthi movement as a whole, trying to nudge the rebel group toward the negotiating table. The Shi’ite organization, said to be aligned with Iran, has waged a civil war over Yemen since deposing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in 2014. The United Nations considers the conflict to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.