US Announces Additional Sanctions Against Houthi Financier


US Announces Additional Sanctions Against Houthi Financier | The Jerusalem Post 

The US State Department announced on Tuesday additional sanctions against Iran-backed Houthi financier Sa'id al-Jamal, whose network provides funding and transportation of weapons for the terrorist group.  Tuesday's designation is the sixth round of sanctions since the end of 2023 targeting al-Jamal's extensive network, according to a statement from the State Department.  "We call on the international maritime community to take additional steps to prevent the abuse of global energy markets by terrorist groups like the IRGC-QF, the Houthis, and Hezbollah," the statement said. "We will continue to use the tools at our disposal to target those who ship illicit cargo to benefit terrorist groups." 

Iran Confirms Death Of IRGC Quds Force Officer In Strikes On Syria | Radio Free Europe  

Iran has confirmed the death of a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria following air strikes blamed on Israel. The official IRNA news agency on March 26 said Behruz Vahedi, a member of the IRGC’s expeditionary wing, the Quds Force, had been killed in alleged Israeli air strikes on Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria. Media close to the Syrian government have accused the United States of carrying out the strikes. Neither the United States nor Israel has commented. 

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.” 


Eye On The Leadership Of Iran’s Parliament And Issue Of Succession | UANI Policy Director Jason Brodsky For Iran International 

The victory of hardliners in Iran’s March 1 low-turnout parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections will have implications for Tehran’s foreign policy and the selection of the next Supreme Leader. Turnout hit a record low, with just 41% of eligible voters casting ballots, according to government figures many consider inflated. During the last parliamentary contest in 2020, there was a 42% turnout. This was in keeping with a trend line of diminished electoral enthusiasm in recent years owing to mass candidate disqualifications, disaffection with the Islamic Republic’s system of governance, and dismal state management. 


US Reveals Further Sanctions On Tankers Linked To Iranian Oil Trade | Splash 247 

The US has slapped sanctions on two more tankers and related players for their involvement in shipments of Iranian commodities to fund the activities of Iran’s Quds Force, the Houthis, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The Department of Treasury has blacklisted the Panama-flagged suezmax tanker Dawn II and its Liberia-based owner Hassaleh International as well as the Palau-flagged aframax Abyss (pictured) together with its Vietnamese owner Quoc Viet Marine Transport, and India-based operator Melody Shipmanagement for being linked to schemes of Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal. The Sa’id al-Jamal network uses a web of companies and vessels to facilitate shipments of Iranian commodities through forged shipping documents and other deceptive practices, the Treasury statement said. 


Controversy Surrounds Arrest Of US-Iranian Citizen Sereen Badiei | Iran International  

The arrest of Sereen Badiei, a US-Iranian dual national in Iran, who calls himself a "prince," has stirred controversy in Iranian social media and news websites worldwide. Badiei, also known as Sereen Curtis, and calling himself as Prince Sereen, has been detained in Alborz province, on charges of "insulting sanctities," Iran's Judiciary confirmed. "After informing the accused of the charges and issuing a temporary detention order, following the introduction to prison, he was handed over to the officer for further investigation," stated Mehdi Keshtdar, CEO of Mizan News Agency, affiliated with Iran's Judiciary. 


Iran’s Actual Inflation Rate Higher Than Official Stats | Iran Focus  

The state-run Donya-e-eqtesad newspaper, in a report analyzing the “general sentiment” regarding inflation in 2023, has stated that households experienced much higher inflation in areas such as clothing, housing, food, and other sectors compared to the government’s official figures. According to Donya-e-eqtesad, although the average inflation rate over the past year was 40.7% compared to the previous year, the prices of red meat, chicken, and fish have surged by 86%. Donya-e-eqtesad further reports that food and beverage inflation was 52% last year, indicating a more severe increase in food costs compared to the general inflation rate in comparison to 2022. 


Syria Says US Strikes Kill Eight In Deir Ezzor Province | The National  

Seven soldiers and a civilian were killed in air strikes in Syria's Deir Ezzor province at dawn on Tuesday, which a Syrian military source blamed on the US, although Washington has denied involvement. The strikes were the first to hit eastern Syria since early February and came hours after an Iranian plane reportedly carrying weapons and IRGC members landed at Deir Ezzor airport, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Syrian media said the strikes were carried out by the US and injured 32 people, including civilians. A US defence official told The National that American forces "did not conduct any air strikes" overnight.

Hamas Leader Speaks In Iran Of Israel 'Political Isolation' | AFP 

"Although this resolution came late and there may be some gaps that need to be filled, the resolution itself indicates that the Israeli occupation is experiencing unprecedented political isolation," Haniyeh told a news conference in Tehran after a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. He added that Israel is "losing political cover and protection even in the Security Council" and "the US is unable to impose its will on the international community". "The Zionist entity" has "not succeeded in achieving any of its military or strategic objectives" after more than five months of war, Haniyeh said. 


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.