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Sen. Cruz Leads Bill to Impose Sanctions on Iranian Backed Houthis, Re-designate them as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last week introduced a bill to impose terrorism sanctions on the Iran-controlled Houthis, in the aftermath of months of terrorism escalation. On February 5th 2021, the Biden State Dept. announced it would lift terrorism-related sanctions on the Houthis and three of their leaders: Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim. Sen. Cruz’s bill reverses the February decision, re-designating the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and the group and their leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The bill is backed by co-sponsors Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Upon introducing the bill, Senator Cruz stated:

“President Biden made it an immediate priority to unwind pressure on Iran and its proxies, including by lifting terrorism sanctions on the Houthis and their leaders – a reckless, self-indulgent, and catastrophic move. This appeasement predictably caused Iran to escalate its aggression across the region, and in Yemen the Houthis launched a broad offensive within hours of the Biden administration’s announcement they would lift those sanctions. I’ve consistently sought to reimpose those sanctions, and it’s now clear that if the Biden administration is unwilling to do so then Congress should mandate that they do.”

Further Background:

Following the removal of the terrorist designation, the Houthis escalated immediately. On Feb. 6th, they launched attacks and began an offensive against Marib, and on Feb 7th they launched four armed drones into Saudi Arabia. Since then, they've consistently escalated their terrorism and interfered with the transfer of humanitarian assistance. Senator Cruz previously has pushed to reimpose those sanctions, and in November filed an amendment to the NDAA mandating the reimposition.

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