US designates Iranian proxy group and its leader as international terrorists

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In an executive order, the US State Department has on Tuesday designated the Iranian proxy group Harakat al-Nujaba (HAN) and its leader, Akram Abbas al-Kabi, as global terrorists.

The State Department said: “These designations demonstrate the United States’ unwavering commitment to isolate and deny funding to the Iranian regime’s terrorist proxies. The United States will continue to stand firm against Iran’s malign behavior and efforts to undermine Iraq’s sovereignty and stability.”

The designations seek to deny HAN and al-Kabi of the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.

Among other consequences, all of their property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction have been blocked, and US citizens “are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.”

Established in 2013 by al-Kabi, HAN is an Iran-backed Iraqi militia funded by- but not under the control of- the Iraqi government. HAN has openly pledged its loyalties to Iran and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

According to the media note by the State Departrment, Al-Kabi has publicly claimed that he would follow any order, including overthrowing the Iraqi government or fighting alongside the Houthis in Yemen, if Ayatollah Khamenei declared it to be a religious duty.

Al-Kabi also claimed that Iran supports HAN both militarily and logistically, and stressed HAN’s close ties with IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

The Department of the Treasury designated al-Kabi as global terrorists in 2008 for planning and conducting multiple attacks against coalition forces, including mortar and rocket launches into the International Zone.