On first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death, Canada announces additional sanctions against Iranian regime

News release

September 15, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

A year has passed since Mahsa Amini died due to the actions of Iran’s so-called Morality Police. Since then, Canada has led international efforts to respond to the Iranian regime’s actions by imposing sanctions on 31 entities and 129 individuals for gross and systematic violations of human rights and grave threats to international peace and security. In October 2022, Canada convened a meeting of women foreign ministers to hear directly from Iranian women about the state of human rights in Iran. In addition, for the 21st consecutive year, Canada will lead the UN General Assembly resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran this fall.

Building on these efforts, 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 14th package of sanctions imposed by Canada against the Iranian regime since October 2022, bringing the total number of individuals sanctioned since October 2022 to 135. These measures, taken in coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, demonstrate Canada’s unwavering resolve to respond to the Iranian regime’s continued aggression against its citizens.

Today’s sanctions list 6 individuals involved in activities that constitute gross and systemic violations of human rights, including the Secretary and 3 senior members of Iran’s Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution, the chief architect of the regime’s repressive compulsory hijab policy. This package also targets the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) senior commander in the Iranian Kurdish provinces, as well as the Iranian parliament’s most senior official for national security and foreign affairs.

The list of those sanctioned includes:

  • Abdol Hossein Khosrow Panah, Secretary of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution
  • Hasan Rahimpour Azghadi, member of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution
  • Ensieh Khazali, Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs and member of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution
  • Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance and member of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution
  • Mohammad Masroor, Commander of the IRGC’s Ground Forces Base
  • Mojtaba Zonnouri, Head of the National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee of Majlis and former deputy of the Supreme Leader’s Representative in the IRGC

These measures will impose a dealings prohibition on the listed individuals, which will effectively freeze any assets they may hold in Canada and render them inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s continued efforts to impose costs on the Iranian regime for its flagrant violations of human rights. As the regime accelerates its methods of surveillance and repression against its citizens, in particular women and girls, Canada will continue supporting the Iranian people and call on the Iranian regime to end all forms of persecution and violence against its citizens.


“Mahsa Amini’s death was a direct result of the Iranian regime’s systemic harassment and repression of women and girls in Iran, which has accelerated over the last 12 months. Today’s sanctions reflect our unwavering commitment to stand with the people of Iran, in particular women and girls, as they continue to courageously defend their human rights.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

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

    • designating members of the Iranian regime, including those in the IRGC and its top leaders, comprising more than 10,000 senior officials, as inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) because of their engagement in terrorism and in systematic and gross human rights violations
    • adopting new sanctions against members of the Iranian regime, including those in the IRGC and those associated with them, in addition to introducing a legislative amendment to the IRPA to ensure that no sanctioned individual connected to the IRGC can enter Canada
    • considering all the tools at the Government of Canada’s disposal, including the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, which imposes targeted measures against foreign nationals who are deemed responsible for or complicit in gross violations of human rights
  • As of today, Canada has sanctioned 176 Iranian individuals and 192 Iranian entities, including the IRGC and key members of the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatuses. Since October 2022, Canada has sanctioned 31 entities and 135 individuals.

  • 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


Isabella Orozco­‑Madison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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