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Washington Approves Transaction With Houthis While Sanctions Are Reviewed

The new White House administration on Monday temporarily walked back its predecessor’s decision to blacklist the Yemeni Houthi movement, while it reviews the controversial move and its fallouts. The Treasury Department authorized for one month all transactions by foreign banks and companies having to do with the Iran-backed rebel group – currently fighting a Saudi-led coalition of states over control of Yemen – but not its leaders. Last week, one day before President Joe Biden took office, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slapped the sweeping sanctions on the Houthi organization, which controls most of Yemen, a move that the United Nations and humanitarian aid groups warned would lead to widespread famine and death. Also on Monday, tens of thousands of Yemenis staged protests in Sanaa, condemning American sanctions. The civil war in Yemen, instigated by the Houthis’ ouster of former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in 2015, is considered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.