The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Iranian envoy to the Houthis in Yemen and official in the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force, Hasan Irlu, on Tuesday, for supporting “IRGC-QF efforts to provide advanced weapons and training to the Houthis” over several years.
“He coordinated with other senior IRGC-QF leaders to support the group’s operations throughout the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen. Irlu maintained a relationship with former IRGC-QF Commander Qasem Soleimani. He has also provided training to Hizballah members in Iran,” the statement read.
It further designated Iran’s Al-Mustafa International University and all of its branches around the world, which are a front for the IRGC-Quds Force recruitment efforts in the fields of intelligence collection, operations, and militias sent in to fight the Syrian civil war on behalf of Bashar Al-Assad.
“Recruits from Al-Mustafa International University have been sent to Syria to fight on behalf of IRGC-QF-led militias. The IRGC-QF established the Fatemiyoun Division, an Iranian-led Shia militia composed of primarily ethnic Afghan residents in Iran, as well as the Zaynabiyoun Brigade, a militia group composed of Pakistani Shia, as expeditionary forces to fight in Syria,” the Treasury Department stated.
“Multiple students from the university have been killed fighting in Syria. The Fatemiyoun Division and Zaynabiyoun Brigade are both designated under counterterrorism and human rights authorities,” the statement added.
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said that Irlu’s appointment as an envoy to the Houthis shows that Iran is indifferent to resolving the civil war, in which millions of Yemenis are suffering.
He further advised that the hiring of foreign students for intelligence operations by the IRGC-QF shows just how much the cell has infiltrated” Iranian society and the “pervasive role” it plays in foreign policy, both of which have led to the erosion of trust in the country’s public and private institutions by the Iranian people and foreign governments alike.
This designation comes at the same time that Iranian “diplomat” Assadollah Assadi is standing trial in Antwerp, Belgium, along with three accomplices, for trying to bomb the 2018 Free Iran rally in Paris, after using his diplomatic privileges to smuggle a bomb into Europe, which he personally handed over to a sleeper cell.
“The regime has been using its diplomatic missions and its so-called cultural and religious organizations to export terrorism across the globe. Now, it is time for the world community to shut down all of Iran’s embassies and centers and expel the regime’s agents,” the Iranian Resistance wrote.