According to the US Department of the Treasury, the Iranians provided “ballistic missile-related technical expertise” the likes of which were “not seen in Yemen prior to the current conflict”.

Iranian missile

Iranian missile Photo Credit: Hossein Velayati/WikiCommons

The US has sanctioned five Iranian ballistic experts believed to be affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The men have been accused of aiding the Yemenite Huthi militia in their attacks against various targets throughout Saudi Arabia, including King Khalid International Airport and a U.S. Navy ship that was operating in international waters.

Mehdi Azarpisheh, Mohammad Jafari, Mahmud Kazemabad, Javad Shir Amin and Sayyed Mohammad Tehrani reportedly provided the Huthis with training, military equipment and finances that they then used to carry out missile attacks.

“Treasury is targeting five Iranian officials who are associated with the IRGC-QF and Iran’s ballistic missile programs,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin wrote in a statement. “Their actions have enabled the Huthis to launch missiles at Saudi cities and oil infrastructure.”

According to Mnuchin, the Huthis, with Iran’s support, have also “disrupted humanitarian aid efforts in Yemen, and threatened freedom of navigation in key regional waterways. The United States will not tolerate Iranian support for Huthi rebels who are attacking our close partner, Saudi Arabia.” 

Yesterday (Monday), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out Washington’s new approach on Iran after its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, commonly referred to as “Plan B.” The Iranian regime, he said, could be facing “the worst sanctions in history.”