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US plans to keep up pressure on Yemen’s Ansarullah despite delisting plan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Yemenis attend a rally denouncing the United States and former US president Donald Trump administration's decision to blacklist the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, in the capital Sana’a on February 4, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The US State Department spokesman says Washington will keep up pressure on the leadership of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah movement, even though Secretary of State Antony Blinken is said to be planning to delist the group as a “terrorist” organization.

“I think we will certainly keep up the pressure on the leadership of the... movement,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Monday.

An unnamed State Department official confirmed on February 5 that Blinken intends to revoke a controversial last-minute decision by the administration of ex-president Donald Trump to designate Yemen’s Ansarullah movement as what is called a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the State Department had formally notified Congress of its plan to delist the movement.

The decision came a day after Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, announced an end to American support for the Saudi war on Yemen, including a freeze on arms sales to the Riyadh regime.

Critics of the move by the Trump administration had said that the designation would hinder humanitarian efforts and only bring more pain to millions of starving people in Yemen.

Reacting to Biden’s recent measures, Ansarullah has said it will not be fooled by mere US statements, and that it had yet to see anything actually happen.

The Saudi regime and a group of its allies launched a deadly military campaign in early 2015 to reinstate a former Riyadh-friendly government in Yemen and destroy the popular movement.

However, having failed to achieve their objectives, the aggressors remain bogged down in Yemen, despite all the support they receive from the US and other Western states.

‘Calls for end to Yemen war nothing but propaganda ploy’

Meanwhile, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council said the recent calls by the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for an end to the ongoing Yemeni conflict is nothing but a propaganda ploy as the quartet presses ahead with its military aggression and tight naval and aerial blockade against the war-ravaged Arab country.

“The countries leading the aggression [against Yemen] have made the calls for peace at the same time as they are continuing their [acts of] aggression and blockade. Such attempts are simply aimed at creating media hype and portraying themselves as victims,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Monday.

He said the four countries leading the aggression against Yemen have to stop their military onslaught and remove the ongoing siege in order to give peace a chance to prevail.

Iran dismisses reports US sent message to Iran via Griffiths

Separately, Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh brushed aside allegations that the United States had sent a message to Iran via visiting UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths.

Khatibzadeh told Tasnim news agency on Monday that such reports are entirely baseless and unfounded, saying, “The visit by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen has nothing to do with the new US administration’s recent stances, and he [Martin Griffiths] did not carry any message from Washington to Tehran.”

The official further highlighted that the high-ranking UN official regularly visits Tehran for talks with Iranian officials about the Yemen crisis.

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