US targets Bahrain-based group backed by Iran with sanctions on affiliates

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four individuals in Iran for aiding the Bahrain-based, US-designated terrorist group al-Ashtar Brigades, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The sanctions were imposed in coordination with Bahrain’s government and allege that the targeted individuals “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of” al-Ashtar Brigades.

The US action “underscores our collective commitment to disrupting Iran’s destabilizing forces and threats, particularly those which threaten our partners in the region and around the world,” Brian Nelson, US undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The United States has been taking action against Iran-backed groups in the Middle East to reduce Tehran’s influence in the region and to isolate its affiliates. It designated al-Ashtar Brigades a foreign terrorist organization in 2018.

In recent weeks, Washington and Tehran have also been at odds over the conflict in Gaza and its implications in the region with the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen disrupting commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the US carrying out strikes against Houthi targets.

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