US charges three over collecting monetary aid for war-torn Yemen
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 29 August 2020 9:58 AM
The US Justice Department has charged three people in connection with a campaign to collect monetary assistance for the oppressed Yemenis, who are suffering under the years-long Saudi war and blockade.
It claimed that Muzzamil Zaidi and Asim Naqvi, US citizens living in Iran's holy city of Qom and the American city of Houston, respectively, and Ali Chawla, a Pakistani national residing in Qom, had violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Justice Department officials alleged that the defendants "have considerable operational links" to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and moved US currency from the United States to Iran.
They claimed that Zaidi, Chawla and other members of an organization, called Islamic Pulse, received permission from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to collect a religious tax on his behalf and send half the money to Yemen.
"Zaidi, Naqvi, and Chawla allegedly raised money in the United States on behalf of Iran's Supreme Leader, and illegally channeled these dollars to the government of Iran. As a result of today's charges, their unlawful scheme has been exposed and brought to an end. The US Department of Justice and its National Security Division are committed to holding accountable individuals who operate covert networks within the United States in order to provide support and funds to hostile foreign governments like Iran in violation of US law," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.
The Justice Department also said Zaidi, 36, was charged with acting in the US as an agent of the Iranian government without first notifying the Attorney General.
The charges come at a time when the US has been continuing to supply weapons and military equipment to Saudi Arabia despite war crimes committed by the regime in Yemen.
The Yemeni army says Washington arms Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, defines goals for them and is involved in a political cover-up for their acts of aggression.
Saudi Arabia waged the devastating military aggression against its southern neighbor in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allied states.
The purported aim was to return to power a Riyadh-backed former regime and defeat the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement that took control of state matters after the resignation of the then president and his government.
The UN refers to the situation in Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than half of hospitals and clinics destroyed or closed.
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