Canada imposes new sanctions against two individuals for their participation in violent repression of Iranian women and girls

News release

March 8, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing new sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations. This is the 17th package of sanctions imposed by Canada against Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini in October 2022. Today’s sanctions are being imposed in response to the Iranian regime’s ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations, particularly against women and girls, and continued actions to destabilize regional peace and security.

These new measures apply to two individuals for their participation in the violent repression of Iranian citizens, targeting in particular women and girls. The Chief Executive of the Tehran metro system, Masoud Dorosti, is listed for his enforcement of the mandatory hijab law on public transit. A senior parliamentarian in the Majlis, Zohreh Elahian, is also listed for her support of the death penalty for protestors involved in the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement. These two individuals have used their positions of influence to call for or carry out increasingly repressive measures against women and girls in Iran.

These measures impose a prohibition on dealings related to the listed individuals and render them inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

On this International Women’s Day, Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to standing with women and girls, including in this case in Iran. Canada will continue to support the Iranian people as they courageously fight for a better future and for the right to make their own choices. 


“Canada will always defend the rights of women and girls. The Iranian regime and its supporters’ continued use of cruel and violent tactics against any demonstration of liberty of choices and free speech has led to an increasingly repressive environment in which women and girls face injury or death simply for expressing themselves or demanding their basic human rights. Our message is clear: this must end. We will continue to shine a spotlight on these blatant violations of human rights and call for the perpetrators to be held to account.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Between October 3, 2022, and today, March 8, 2024, Canada has announced 17 updates to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations, listing a total of 153 individuals and 87 entities for their participation in Iran’s gross and systematic human rights violations, state-led disinformation activities or nuclear program, or in relation to its ongoing breach of international peace and security. 

  • In November 2022, Canada designated Iran as a regime that has engaged in terrorism and gross and systematic human rights violations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This designation rendered tens of thousands of senior members of the Iranian regime, including many members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, inadmissible to Canada.

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

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