New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated India national, Manoj Sabharwal, among members of a smuggling network that helps fund Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and the Houthis in Yemen.
Led by Iran-based Houthi financier Said al-Jamal, this network generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the sale of commodities, like Iranian petroleum, a significant portion of which is then directed through a complex network of intermediaries and exchange houses in multiple countries to the Houthis in Yemen.
According to the US Treasury, UAE-based Sabharwal is a maritime shipping professional who manages shipping operations for al-Jamal’s network and advises al-Jamal on smuggling Iranian oil products.
Sabharwal is responsible for coordinating shipments of Iranian petroleum products and commodities throughout the Middle East and Asia while obscuring al-Jamal’s involvement.
Sabharwal is being designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of al-Jamal.
Since the onset of the conflict in Yemen, the Houthis have relied on support from the IRGC-QF to wage their campaign against the internationally recognised Yemeni government and the Saudi-led Coalition.
Despite growing calls for peace, the Houthis have continued to escalate their lethal attacks inside Yemen and in the region, with dire consequences for Yemeni civilians and Yemen’s neighbors. The Houthis have used ballistic missiles, explosives, naval mines, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to strike military targets, population centres, infrastructure, and nearby commercial shipping in Saudi Arabia, along key international trade routes.