Canada sanctions Iranian regime for continued human rights violations

News release

May 3, 2023 - 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 11th package of sanctions imposed by Canada against the Iranian regime since October 2022, and builds on Canada’s efforts to align with recent designations announced by the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Today’s sanctions list one entity and nine individuals for their role in gross and systematic human rights violations in Iran and abroad. The entity listed today exemplifies the regime’s brutality and disregard of human rights as it is the site of a record number of state executions.

The individuals listed include members of the so-called Morality Police unit that arrested Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked widespread anti-regime protests, and a deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, where violent clampdowns against protests resulted in the death of dozens of civilians.

Canada is also taking action against the senior leadership of Paravar Pars, a key Iranian drone producer that is supporting Russia’s unjustifiable and full-scale invasion of Ukraine by supplying President Putin with drones.

The list of those sanctioned includes, but is not limited to:

  • Abualfazl Nazeri, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Paravar Pars
  • Mohsen Asadi, member, Board of Directors, Paravar Pars
  • Mohammad Sadegh Heidari Mousa, member, Board of Directors, Paravar Pars
  • Mohammad Reza Mohammadi, member, Board of Directors, Paravar Pars
  • Enayatollah Rafiei, member of squad that arrested Mahsa Amini
  • Fatemeh Ghorban-Hosseini, member of squad that arrested Mahsa Amini
  • Parastou Safari, member of squad that arrested Mahsa Amini
  • Ali Khoshnamvand, member of squad that arrested Mahsa Amini
  • Parviz Absalan, Deputy Head, IRGC, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province
  • Rajaei Shahr Prison, site of state executions

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 inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Canada is committed to standing with the Iranian people as they courageously defend their human rights and freedoms. We will continue pursuing those who support the Iranian regime’s egregious actions against its people and ensure a coordinated approach with the international community.


“Canada’s commitment to human rights is unwavering and we will always provide a voice for those who need our support, such as the women, men and children of Iran. We will continue doing everything in our power to respond to the destabilizing actions of the Iranian regime, which affect not only the Iranian people, but have repercussions for global peace and security.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

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

    • listing members of the Iranian regime, including the IRGC and its top leaders—more than 10,000 senior officials—as inadmissible to Canada because of their engagement in terrorism and in systematic and gross human rights violations by enacting a designation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
    • adopting new sanctions against members of the IRGC and the Iranian regime, as well as those associated with them, in addition to 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 giving additional support to the RCMP to investigate and identify assets and to gather evidence
    • pursuing all the tools at the Government of Canada’s disposal, including the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, which enables restrictive financial and property measures to be taken against foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of human rights
  • As of today, Canada has sanctioned 156 Iranian individuals and 192 Iranian entities, including the IRGC and key members of the regime’s security intelligence and economic apparatus.

  • In 2012, Canada designated Iran as a state 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.

Associated links


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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