Tehran has introduced sanctions against US Ambassador to Yemen Ambassador Christopher Henzel. Iran justified the move by saying that Henzel's disruptive actions were preventing the warring sides in Yemen from achieving a political solution to the internal conflict.
Today, the U.S. is designating Hasan Irlu, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps– Qods Force officer, and an individual and a university supporting IRGC-QF recruitment operations. Iran’s support for the Houthis fuels the conflict in Yemen and exacerbates the country’s instability.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 8, 2020
Henzel wound up in Iran's sanctions list a day after Tehran's own representative to Yemen, Hasan Irlu, was slapped with US sanctions. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, to whom Hasan Irlu purportedly belongs, of supporting Houthi fighters and allegedly fuelling the conflict in Yemen.
Washington has repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing a disruptive foreign policy that purportedly destabilises the region, and specifically of arming the Houthis – a Yemeni Shia group that has opposed the central government and driven it from the capital in Sana over political differences. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia that has been fighting the Houthis since 2015 supports the US accusations. Tehran, in turn, insists that it only provides humanitarian relief to the Shia fighters, who routinely attack nearby Saudi oil objects and refineries in response to Riyadh's bombings of Houthi-controlled cities.