Blinken: Taking 'very close' look at Houthi designation

"It's vitally important even in the midst of this crisis that we do everything we can to get humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, who are in desperate need," Blinken told reporters on his first full day in office.

On Monday, the United States approved all transactions involving Yemen's Houthi movement for the next month as Washington reviews the Trump administration's designation of the Iran-aligned group.

Video Transcript

ANTONY BLNKEN: I think you all know very well that the Houthis committed an act of significant aggression in taking over Sanaa some years ago, moving through the country committing acts of aggression against our partner Saudi Arabia, committing human rights abuses and other atrocities, creating an environment in which we've seen extremist groups fill some of the vacuums that were created.

But at the same time, we've seen a campaign led by Saudi Arabia that has also contributed to what is, by many estimates, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and that's saying something. And so it's vitally important, even in the midst of this crisis, that we do everything we can to get humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen who are in desperate need. And what we want to make sure is that any steps we are taking do not get in the way of providing that assistance.

The Houthis control territory that I believe contains about 80% of Yemen's population. And so we want to make sure that any of these steps, including the designation, don't make what is already an incredibly difficult task even more difficult, that is, the provision of humanitarian aid to the people of Yemen. So we're taking a very urgent and very close look at that. We want to make sure that not only