Tags: Biden Administration | Joe Biden | foreignpolicy | yemen | persiangulf | iran

President Biden's State Department Must Reinstate Houthis' Terrorist Designation

President Biden's State Department Must Reinstate Houthis' Terrorist Designation

By Tuesday, 02 March 2021 10:36 AM Current | Bio | Archive

On February 16th, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he was revoking the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation that President Donald J. Trump put in place on the Houthis. This decision left many of us scratching our heads.

Sec. Blinken sent the wrong message to our allies in the Persian Gulf with this action. Why would he revoke the FTO designation of a group that was actively targeting our allies?

Anyone who knows anything about foreign policy in the Mideast knows that the Houthis are funded by Iran. So, was this move by Sec. Blinken done to actually help Houthis on humanitarian issues or was it done to send a message to the Ayatollahs in Iran that his State Department would be soft on keeping sanctions in place against terrorists?

Sadly, I think it was the latter.

In Sec. Blinken’s statement on revoking the FTO designation, he stated he remains committed to supporting our partners in the region.

"We remain committed to helping U.S. partners in the Gulf defend themselves, including against threats arising from Yemen, many of which are carried out with the support of Iran. The United States will redouble its efforts, alongside the United Nations and others, to end the war itself. We reaffirm our strong belief that there is no military solution to this conflict," Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement.

That’s rich… How can Sec. Blinken and the United States remain committed to helping our long-standing allies like Saudi Arabia by lifting the FTO designation of the Houthis?

Two days after this move by Sec. Blinken, the Houthis went on the offensive with new attacks in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It’s almost like removing their FTO designation emboldened them to ramp up their attacks.

And that’s exactly what they did by targeting a commercial airliner in Saudi Arabia with a drone attack.

After the Houthis launched several missile and drone attacks against the Saudis, the U.S. State Department issued the following statement on February 27:

"The United States remains committed to its longstanding partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to helping Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups," the statement added.

So, one day the State Department is taking steps to embolden the Houthis, who were actively engaged in military actions against the Saudis, and days later they are issuing a statement of full support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and condemning the Houthis.


This double talk seems to be a recurring theme from President Biden’s State Department. It was Sec. Blinken who told the world that it would be years before the Iranian Regime had enough uranium for a nuclear weapon. only to amend that statement a week later by saying they are weeks away from a nuclear weapon.

The new State Department cannot seem to make up their mind on who our allies are or the Iranian Regime’s proximity toward successfully building a nuclear weapon. Yet, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the U.S. decision to revoke the terrorist designation, calling it "a gift to the Iranians," and said it "will allow the Houthis to continue to foment terror around the world."

Sec. Blinken should immediately reverse his 2/16 order and to reinstate the FTO designation on the Houthis.

It’s time to send a strong message to the Houthis (and their biggest funder, Iran) that the America doesn’t support their terrorist attacks. We must unequivocally state that we will continue to stand with our long-standing allies, not terrorists.

Bryan E. Leib is currently serving as Chairman of HaShevet, a Jewish and Israel advocacy group. Formerly, he served as the National Director for Americans Against Antisemitism and he was the 2018 Republican Endorsed Congressional Candidate for PA-03 (Philadelphia, Pa.). He has served as a Board Member for organizations including: United Way, National Museum of American Jewish History, Jewish National Fund, the Philadelphia Young Republicans and the Camden Youth Soccer Club. He tweets at @Bryan_E_Leib. Read Bryan E. Leib's Reports — More Here.

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On February 16th, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he was revoking the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation that President Donald J. Trump put in place on the Houthis. This decision left many of us scratching our heads.Sec. Blinken sent the wrong...
foreignpolicy, yemen, persiangulf, iran
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2021-36-02
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 10:36 AM
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