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Trump administration weighs designating Houthi rebels in Yemen as terrorists

The Defense Department, State Department employees, the United Nations and humanitarian groups are reportedly against such a move.

Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Trump administration is expected to designate the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen as a terrorist organization, reported Foreign Policy on Monday, citing several diplomatic sources.

The U.S. Defense Department, career U.S. State Department employees, the United Nations and humanitarian groups are reportedly against such a move, as the designation could jeopardize peace talks in the country between the Houthis and the current government, which is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The State Department has declined to comment on its inevitability, citing its policy on previewing designations that may or may not occur.

Such an attestation would exemplify the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran since withdrawing in 2018 from the 2015 nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacting new sanctions and other moves such as, in 2019, designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

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