Fresh US-British Airstrikes Target Iran’s Houthi Militia


Fresh US-British Airstrikes Target Iran’s Houthi Militia | Iran International  

On Wednesday, Yemen's Houthi-affiliated media reported new airstrikes conducted by the United States and Britain against positions held by the Iran-backed group in Sa'dah. According to Al-Masirah TV, the mouthpiece of the Houthi group, the airstrikes targeted the Qatinat area in Sa'dah's Baqim District. Sa'dah, located in northern Yemen, is recognized as a stronghold of the Houthi rebels and shares a border with Saudi Arabia. The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, in solidarity with Palestinian islamists Hamas in Gaza, have disrupted global shipping routes, compelling shipping firms to take longer and more costly detours around southern Africa. The attacks intensified following a call by Iran's Supreme Leader for Muslims to blockade Israel, with the Houthis receiving support from Iran in terms of weapons supplies. In response to the threats to maritime security, the United States and its allies have deployed warships to the Red Sea to safeguard commercial vessels.  

BOFA Wins Dismissal Of Iranian Discrimination Lawsuit Claims | Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. won dismissal of a lawsuit’s claims that it discriminates against Iranians in reviewing customer accounts to ensure they comply with US sanctions policies. The bank didn’t violate US civil rights law by cutting off the credit card of Farshad Abdollah-Nia, an Iranian postdoctoral fellow in San Diego with permanent-resident status, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. The judge also rejected class-action status for the suit, which alleges the lender restricted or closed accounts of as many as 15,000 Iranian Americans. BofA had argued Nia failed to provide documentation proving he lives outside of Iran, which was needed to avoid violating US sanctions in financial dealings. It argued that the US Treasury is “very unforgiving of banks whose deficient sanctions compliance programs lead to violations.” US District Judge Cynthia Bashant ruled BofA acted properly when it froze and then closed Nia’s account in 2019. The ruling is a victory for banks, which have latitude in deciding how to follow the complex and changing sanctions imposed by Treasury. Lawyers and consumer advocates say US banks are increasingly reluctant to handle transactions for customers with links to countries covered by the restrictions.  

US Does Not Support Pakistan Iran Pipeline | Voice Of America 

The U.S. State Department has said it does not support Pakistan’s plan to build a pipeline to import gas from Iran. State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller refused to comment on the nature of sanctions Pakistan could face for importing energy from Iran. However, he cautioned Islamabad against going ahead with the plan. “But we always advise everyone that doing business with Iran runs the risk of touching upon and coming in contact with our sanctions, and would advise everyone to consider that very carefully,” said Miller, adding that “the assistant secretary made clear last week, we do not support this pipeline going forward.” Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told the House Foreign Affairs committee last Wednesday in a hearing that importing gas from Iran would expose Pakistan to U.S. sanctions. Pakistan’s outgoing caretaker government approved the construction of an 80-kilometer section of the pipeline in February, largely to avoid paying Iran $18 billion in penalties for years of project delays.  


Joseph Lieberman, 1942-2024 | The Wall Street Journal 

Joe Lieberman, who died Wednesday at age 82, was the kind of Democrat who can’t be found much these days, and there aren’t many like him in the Republican Party either. He was a foreign policy hawk who believed in the necessity of American military power and diplomacy to expand the zone of freedom in the world. Lieberman rose in Connecticut politics as a moderate Democrat in a more moderate age. We first met him in 1988 when he ran for the Senate against the liberal Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker. He ran to Weicker’s right and won in an upset.  

Joseph I. Lieberman, Senator And Vice-Presidential Nominee, Dies At 82 | The New York Times 

Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut’s four-term United States senator and Vice President Al Gore’s Democratic running mate in the 2000 presidential election, which was won by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney when the Supreme Court halted a Florida ballot recount, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 82. His family said in a statement that the cause was complications of a fall. His brother-in-law Ary Freilich said that Mr. Lieberman’s fall occurred at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and that he died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Upper Manhattan.  

Joseph Lieberman, Senator And Vice-Presidential Nominee, Dies At 82 | The Washington Post 

Joseph I. Lieberman, the doggedly independent four-term U.S. senator from Connecticut who was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, becoming the first Jewish candidate on the national ticket of a major party, died March 27 in New York City. He was 82. The cause was complications from a fall, his family said in a statement. He fell at his home in the Bronx and was pronounced dead at a hospital in Manhattan. 

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman Dies At 82 | Iran International  

Former US Senator and vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman has died at 82 following complications from a fall. “Senator Lieberman's love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest,” the statement on Wednesday from his family said. He also served as the chairman of the United Against Nuclear Iran, an advocacy group founded in 2008 to prevent the Iranian regime from turning into a nuclear power. This veteran Jewish politician was a staunch supporter of Israel and strongly opposed negotiations with the Iranian government. In the Democratic presidential campaign in 2000, Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate, hence becoming “the first Jewish candidate on a major political party ticket,” CBS News wrote. “It was an honor to stand side-by-side with him on the campaign trail … I'll remain forever grateful for his tireless efforts to build a better future for America," said Gore in a statement.  

Joseph Lieberman, Centrist Senator And First Jew On A Major Presidential Ticket, Dies At 82 | Jewish Telegraphic Agency 

… In August 2015, Lieberman became chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, a group fiercely opposed to efforts by the Obama administration to broker a deal with Iran over its nascent nuclear program. “While Iran’s leaders may be prepared to make some tactical concessions on their nuclear activities, they would do so hoping that this would buy them the time and space needed to rebuild strength at home — freed from crippling sanctions — while consolidating and expanding the gains they are positioned to make in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Afghanistan,” he wrote in an oped in 2013.  

Joe Lieberman, Longtime Senator And First Jewish-American VP Candidate, Dies At 82 | Jewish News Syndicate  

…In retirement, Lieberman remained a staunch advocate for Israel and for a robust American foreign policy as chairman of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, among other affiliations. He was a member of Kesher Israel, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Georgetown. 


US Court Grants Forfeiture Of $17 Million Of Al Naser Airlines After Evasion Of Iran Sanctions & Export Controls | Global Sanctions 

The US District Court of Columbia has granted forfeiture of $17 million in funds that represent the proceeds of Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines’ circumvention of US export controls and sanctions by procuring US-origin aircraft for the benefit of US-designated Iran-based Mahan Air. 

US Imposes Sanctions On Entities Supporting Iran, Houthis, And Hezbollah | Iran Wire 

The United States has imposed sanctions on a money exchanger and a network of firms across six countries accused of supporting Iran's military, Yemen's Houthi rebels, and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted six companies, two tankers, and a money exchanger, all based or registered in Liberia, India, Vietnam, Lebanon, and Kuwait. These entities are alleged to have provided material benefit to Iran, the Houthis, and Hezbollah. The move comes amidst heightened tensions in the Middle East, where Hezbollah and the Houthis have intensified attacks in recent weeks, raising concerns of a wider regional conflict. Hezbollah militants have engaged in near-daily exchanges of fire with Israeli troops along Lebanon's southern border, displacing tens of thousands of civilians on both sides.  


Hamas, Iran Leaders Delight In Cease-Fire Call, US No-Vote: 'Fateful Turning Point' | Fox News 

Hamas leadership met with Iranian counterparts in a highly publicized engagement, seemingly to promote and praise the United Nations Security Council resolution urging a cease-fire.  Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas, held a press conference on Monday with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during which the pair praised the U.N. resolution for serving as a heavy blow to Israel’s political and military goals.  "We are going through a historical stage and a fateful turning point in the context of the historical conflict with the Zionist entity," Haniyeh said, referring to the Oct. 7 attack as the Al-Aqsa Flood. Haniyeh also met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to discuss "developments related to the ongoing war on Gaza and all the variables related to the Palestinian issue," The Jerusalem Post reported. Khamenei, meanwhile, praised the "resistance groups" for "exceptional resilience," Al Monitor reported based on a readout published on the supreme leader’s website.  


Iranwire Exclusive: Iran Systematically Targets Families Of Arab Activists Abroad | Iran Wire 

IranWire has obtained information and documents revealing a systematic and premeditated campaign by security forces of the Islamic Republic to persecute the families of Arab political activists who have fled Iran. This is being done to thwart their activities. Several of these activists disclosed to IranWire that not only were their immediate family members, including elderly parents, spouses, and children, subjected to repeated harassment and summonses, but also extended family members, such as uncles and cousins, were targeted and sometimes coerced to relocate to Turkey. In a common tactic of suppression, Iranian authorities often resort to pressuring the families of citizens residing abroad. Historically, this coercion has targeted families of journalists, Persian-language media workers, political and civil activists forced into exile, as well as participants in protests abroad, notably following the death of Mahsa Amini. Recent revelations by IranWire shed light on the ongoing harassment inflicted by security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran upon the families and relatives of these citizens, with the explicit intent of hindering their activities abroad.  

Kurdish Singer Abbaszadeh Faces Arrest Again | Iran Wire 

Iranian security forces have detained Kurdish singer Mohammad Abbaszadeh, according to a report by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights.  The 35-year-old from Ilam province was reportedly arrested upon returning from Nowruz celebrations in Shuhan city. His current whereabouts and condition are unknown. This is not the first time Abbaszadeh has faced persecution by Iranian authorities. In October 2022, he was detained for singing a protest song. Released on bail a month later, he received a suspended sentence of two years' imprisonment, a travel ban, and a fine In April 2023, Abbaszadeh faced more charges for criticizing chemical attacks on schools on social media platforms. The poisonings had started in late November 2022, causing anxiety among parents and students.  


Iran Sentences Police Officer To Death For Killing Protester | Voice Of America 

An Iranian court has sentenced a police chief in northern Iran to death after he was charged with killing a man during mass protests in 2022, local media reported Wednesday. Local police chief Jafar Javanmardi was arrested in December 2022 over the killing of a protester during the widespread demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in custody. Iranian Kurd Amini, 22, died in custody in September that year following her arrest for allegedly violating the country's strict dress code for women. Javanmardi was sentenced to death "in accordance with the Islamic law of retribution, known as the ‘qisas’ law, on the charge of premeditated murder," the lawyer for the victim's family, Majid Ahmadi, told the reformist Shargh daily. The protester, Mehran Samak, 27, succumbed to injuries he sustained after being hit by shotgun pellets during a rally in the northern city of Bandar Anzali on November 30, 2022. Rights groups based outside of Iran said Samak was shot dead by Iranian security forces after honking his car horn in celebration of Iran's loss to the United States in the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar while at the Amini protest.  

Iran Executes Three On Drug-Related Charges | Iran Wire 

The Islamic Republic recently executed three individuals, including a woman, on drug-related charges amidst a surge in capital punishment in the country. On the morning of March 25, a 36-year-old man named Abbas Aghaei, from Tabriz, faced the death penalty at Tabriz Central Prison. His conviction stemmed from drug-related charges, as reported by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization. According to a source familiar with the case, Abbas Aghaei had been arrested 28 months prior on drug charges.  However, he consistently denied ownership of the drugs, claiming they did not belong to him. Following his father's death, Abbas became the primary caretaker of his siblings, all under the age of 15. Despite these circumstances and his recent engagement four months before his arrest, Abbas was sentenced to death by the court. According to the Iran Human Rights organization, the death sentence of a couple convicted in a drug-related case was also executed at Tabriz Central Prison on March 18.  

Iranian MP Warns Land Subsidence Crisis Will Drive Residents Out Of Esfahan | Iran International  

A parliamentarian has stressed the need to tackle the "very dangerous" issue of land subsidence in Iran's Esfahan, warning it will soon drive residents out of the city. Mehdi Toghyani said, "Land subsidence in Esfahan has reached a very dangerous stage, in a way that if we cannot revive the aquifers over the next seven or eight years, the civilization will not remain. "The danger of land subsidence in the city is so serious that if no action is taken for it in the coming years, we will all have to leave Esfahan. The entire Esfahan plain is at risk of subsidence due to the dryness of the rivers in the central plateau of Iran." Recent years have seen a surge in reports of sudden land subsidence in streets and residential areas across several Iranian cities. Esfahan province stands particularly vulnerable, with even its historic center, schools, and ancient buildings experiencing subsidence.  


Attack Drones At Heart Of ‘Military Partnership’ Between Russia, Iran | C4isrnet  

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is buttressed by Iranian technologies, drawing alarm from U.S. lawmakers and military officials. What was once simple collaboration between two governments has in the past year blossomed into a “nascent military partnership,” according to a U.S. Central Command assessment submitted this month to Congress. The command was the keystone of the U.S. war on terror; its remit includes Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Yemen. Tehran has provided Moscow’s war machine at least 1,000 attack drones and dozens of multipurpose unmanned aerial systems for use against Ukrainian troops, with future plans to aid domestic production, said CENTCOM boss Gen. Michael Kurilla. Those figures are up dramatically from just months ago. “The relationship between Iran and Russia? That really started when they asked for them to provide the one-way attack UAS, specifically the Shahed-136,” Kurilla told the House Armed Services Committee on March 21.  

US Denies Allegations Of Syria Air Strikes | Iran International 

The United States refuted Iranian and Syrian claims of conducting dawn airstrikes in Syria after an attack which saw the deaths of seven soldiers and a Revolutionary Guards member. Syrian state news agency SANA blamed "US occupation aggression" for the attack while Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh categorically stated the US "did not carry out airstrikes in Syria last night," addressing reporters in Washington. Syrian state media said a civilian was also killed and at least 19 other soldiers and 13 civilians were wounded in strikes on residential areas and military sites in Deir al Zor province, with significant damage to public and private properties. Iranian state media said a Revolutionary Guards adviser was killed in the airstrikes, without giving his rank. Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned the strikes, alleging US actions mirrored Israeli aggression and aimed to destabilize the region.  


How China Ended Up Financing The Houthis’ Red Sea Attacks | POLITICO 

China is unwittingly helping Iran choke off ship traffic in the Red Sea, impairing global trade flows and damaging Beijing’s own interests in the process, Western intelligence officials say. China’s illicit purchases of Iranian oil are indirectly financing the recent string of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and have had a chilling effect on shipping. About 15 percent of global trade flows through the corridor that leads from the Gulf Aden through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, linking Asia and Europe. China buys about 90 percent of Iran’s oil, including crude sold by the Quds Force, the paramilitary arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is responsible for Tehran’s foreign military operations. Quds Force trains and funds Iran’s terror proxies across the Middle East, for example, including both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.  


Iran Gives Türkiye Green Light In Iraq Without Guarantees | Asharq Al-Awsat  

The pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq has become a partner in a crucial deal between Baghdad and Ankara - with Iran’s blessing - to eliminate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Iraqi and Turkish sources said the recent deal goes beyond military operations against the PKK to cover comprehensive arrangements related to the shape of the Middle East after the war in Gaza is over. A Turkish official told Asharq Al-Awsat that part of “Ankara’s plan” was to prepare for changes that will happen after the war and its determination to have “zero security problems in the region, especially in Iraq.” The “blood fraternity” between the PKK and Shiite factions in the town of Sinjar may however prove to be an obstacle in Türkiye's new plan. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan spoke last week of an understanding reached between his country and “an official institution funded by the Iraqi state” over Sinjar. It seems Türkiye is throwing its major political and military weight in Iraq and is seeking broader relations to end the chronic tensions along its southern border. Internal balances in Baghdad and the PKK’s rising power in Sinjar could undermine the plan.  

Tehran Pledges 50 Million Cubic Meters Of Gas Daily For Iraq | Iran International  

Iran and Iraq have signed a five-year deal that will see Iran pump up to 50 million cubic meters of natural gas per day according to the needs of Iraqi power stations in exchange for oil and gasoline. Iraq's Ministry of Electricity Ziad Ali Fadhel and the CEO of the National Iranian Gas Company, Majid Chegeni, finalized the contract to extend Iran’s gas exports to Iraq in Baghdad on Wednesday. After decades of electricity shortages because of war, corruption and mismanagement, oil-rich Iraq is heavily reliant on imported Iranian gas to meet its electricity needs. Iran has been supplying energy to Iraq for the past 10 years under an agreement signed in July 2013. With an aging electricity grid unable to match the growing demand, Iraq suffers frequent power outages. However, Iran itself is in dire need of natural gas for its domestic electricity production as well as keeping its steel, petrochemical and other heavy industries afloat.