The U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday that it was blacklisting five Iranians for supplying ballistic missile technology to the Houthi militias in Yemen.
The Treasury said the five placed on its sanctions list were linked to an operation by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to support Houthi attacks on cities in Saudi Arabia.
"The United States will not tolerate Iranian support for Houthi rebels who are attacking our close partner, Saudi Arabia. All countries in the region should be on guard to prevent Iran from sending its personnel, weapons, and funds in support of its proxies in Yemen," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.
The Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen has frequently accused Tehran of providing the Houthis with weapons, including ballistic missiles.
Since 2015, they have launched more than 130 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, which has intercepted them through anti-missile defense systems.
Iran has denied supplying missiles to the Houthis, while the group has insisted that they developed the missiles themselves.
But the United States says it has irrefutable evidence of Iran's involvement.
Actions by the Revolutionary Guards "have enabled the Houthis to launch missiles at Saudi cities and oil infrastructure," Mnuchin added.
Four of the five men hit with sanctions, which aim to lock them out of the global financial system, are senior officials in the Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Forces Al-Ghadir Missile Command.
The fifth was linked to a Revolutionary Guards unit responsible for researching and developing ballistic missiles.
The sanctions freeze any assets the five may have in U.S. jurisdictions and prohibit Americans from any transactions with them.
Over the last two weeks, the U.S. Treasury has stepped up sanctions targeting Iran, and especially the Revolutionary Guards, in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Tehran that it was facing a tougher sanctions regime than it ever experienced as Washington pressures Tehran to disengage from regional hot spots like Syria and Yemen and to stop exporting its ballistic missile technology.
He vowed that the U.S. would step up efforts against Iran's support for groups like the Houthis, Lebanon's “Hezbollah”, the Palestinian "Hamas" movement and Syria's regime.
"This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations," said Pompeo.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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