Canada further sanctions Iranian regime
November 16, 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 fifth package of sanctions imposed by Canada against the Iranian regime this year in response to its ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize peace and security.
Today’s sanctions list six individuals and two entities. These sanctions target senior officials, prominent regime supporters and entities that have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Iran, including brutal crackdowns on protesters and in the regime’s malign activities abroad. The 2 listed entities are key to the regime’s ongoing activities aimed at destabilizing international peace and security, including the sale of weapons and the provision of Iranian military personnel to train and assist Russian forces on the use of Iranian weapons.
This list includes, but is not limited to:
- Shahed Aviation Industries, a weapons research, development and manufacturing firm linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force that is involved in the production of the Shahed series of Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which includes the lethal Shahed-136 combat drone used by the Russian Armed Forces to attack civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine;
- Qods Aviation Industries, a state-owned UAV manufacturing company founded by the IRGC that designs and produces combat drones used by the regime’s armed forces and designated terrorist organizations aligned with the regime, such as Hezbollah, to carry out destabilizing regional operations; this firm is also involved in the development of lethal UAVs exported to Russia for use in Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine;
- Seyyed Yahya Safavi, the Supreme Leader’s chief adviser on military affairs and former chief commander of the IRGC (1997 to 2007);
- Seyyed Hojatollah Qureishi, an IRGC brigadier general and the deputy minister of the Supply, Research, and Industrial Affairs Division of Iran’s Ministry of Defence;
- Saeed Aghajani, an IRGC brigadier general and the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force’s UAV Command; and
- Ali Azadi, commander of law enforcement forces in Iran’s Kurdistan province.
Today’s measures prohibit dealings with these 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.
More than a month and a half has passed since the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Iranian regime’s so-called Morality Police. Canada is gravely concerned by the regime’s continued failure to address the legitimate concerns of the Iranian people.
Canada stands with the people of Iran, from all segments of its society, as they continue to fight for their human rights in the face of ever more violent and repressive crackdowns by the Iranian regime. We will continue to monitor the gross and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the regime and take swift action, in coordination with our allies, to respond through all diplomatic tools at our disposal.
“Canada is committed to standing by the people of Iran as they courageously fight for their human rights. Day by day, the situation in Iran worsens as the Iranian regime continues its crackdowns in defiance of appeals from its citizens and the international community. Canada will not hesitate to use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to respond to the Iranian regime’s aggressions, whether in Iran or abroad.”
- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
On October 7, 2022, Canada announced its intention 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 that 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 the government 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
- 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 against foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of human rights.
As of today, Canada has imposed sanctions on 99 Iranian individuals and 181 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 action against Iran for losses or damages from an act of terrorism with links to Iran committed anywhere in the world.
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