Following its January 17, 2024 designation of Ansarallah (commonly known as “the Houthis”) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist effective one month later, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence convened a roundtable to discuss the designation and the application of both newly- and previously-issued general licenses to ensure the continued flow of humanitarian assistance and the delivery of essential commercial goods to the people of Yemen.
On January 25, 2024, in coordination with the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation of HM Treasury, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated four key Ansarallah officials pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for supporting the Houthis’ attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Among those designated are Muhammad Ahmad al-Talibi, an important link in efforts to smuggle Iranian weapons to the Houthis, and three Houthi commanders who have taken part in, or commanded, the hijacking of commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
In the United Kingdom, the same individuals were designated pursuant to the Yemen (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1278). Their accounts and other economic resources in the United Kingdom are subject to an asset freeze, and cannot be made available directly or indirectly for the benefit of designated persons unless licensed by OFSI.
As a result of the OFAC designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person. Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.