Canada imposes new sanctions against Iranian regime

News release

October 31, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations. This is the fourth package of sanctions imposed by Canada against the Iranian regime in response to its ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize peace and security.

Today’s sanctions list four individuals and two entities, and includes senior officials and prominent regime supporters. Canada has reason to believe that these individuals and entities have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations either in Iran or in the regime’s malign activities abroad, including by attacking other states. Three of the listed individuals have participated directly in the Iranian regime’s unjust and systematic persecution of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority.

This list includes:

  • the Law Enforcement Forces, the regime’s police force, an entity that has participated in the lethal suppression and arbitrary arrest of unarmed Iranian protestors, especially through its Special Units Brigades;
  • Al-Mustafa International University, an entity that spreads the regime’s ideology abroad through its global branches; Al-Mustafa’s students are regularly recruited into the foreign legions of the Qods Force, which is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) extraterritorial operations branch; the foreign legions have been deployed to Syria to support the Assad regime and to carry out the Iranian regime’s destabilizing regional foreign policy;
  • Hossein Rahimi, Police Commander of Tehran;
  • Ahmad Fazelian, Deputy Attorney General; 
  • Asadollah Jafari, Head of the Judicial Administration in North Khorasan Province; and
  • Seyed Morteza Mousavi, Deputy Head of the Judicial Administration in Mazandaran Province.

These measures prohibit dealings with the listed individuals and entities, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada. Individuals listed in response to gross and systematic violations of human rights are also rendered inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Iranian regime’s brutal crackdowns on protestors, and against women in particular, continue to violate the Iranian people’s human rights. Its actions have resulted in the death and injury of many Iranians, including children, who have been targeted in supposedly safe spaces, such as schools.

Canada will not stand idly by in the face of these aggressions and is taking concrete steps to address the regime’s egregious and destabilizing actions, both in Iran and abroad. Canada is also aware of Iran’s active support of Russian atrocities in Ukraine through the sale of weapons and the provision of Iranian military personnel to train and assist Russian forces on the use of Iranian weapons. Canada strongly condemns this behaviour and will use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to respond to these brutal and unacceptable actions perpetrated by the Iranian regime.


“The Iranian people, including women and youths, are risking their lives because they have endured for far too long a regime that has repressed and violated their humanity. They are demanding that their human rights be respected, and it is our duty to echo and amplify their voices. Canada will continue to support the Iranian people as they courageously demand a better future.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • On October 7, 2022, Canada announced its intent to implement several new measures to respond to Iran’s ongoing human rights violations and threats to regional peace and security, including:

    • listing the Iranian regime, including top leaders of the IRGC, by pursuing a designation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
    • expanding sanctions against the IRGC and introducing a new tailored regulation to ensure no sanctioned individual connected to the IRGC can enter Canada, pending the passage of Bill S-8;
    • investing $76 million to strengthen Canada’s capacity to implement sanctions and ensure we can move more quickly to freeze and seize the assets of sanctioned individuals, including through a dedicated bureau at Global Affairs Canada and additional support to the RCMP to investigate and identify assets and gather evidence; and
    • pursuing all the tools at the government’s disposal, including the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, which enables restrictive financial and property measures for foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of human rights.
  • As of today, Canada has imposed sanctions on 93 Iranian individuals and 179 Iranian entities, including the IRGC and the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatus.

  • In 2012, Canada designated the Islamic Republic of Iran as a supporter of terrorism under the State Immunity Act. In concert with the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, this listing allows victims to bring civil actions against Iran for losses or damages from an act of terrorism with links to Iran committed anywhere in the world.

Associated links


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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