Canada Imposes Tougher Sanctions on Iran

January 31, 2012

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

"Canada continues to be increasingly concerned by the actions of the Iranian authorities.

"Effective immediately, Canada is expanding existing sanctions against Iran. Five entities and three individuals are being added to the list of designated persons. They will join a long list of supporters and associates of the Iranian regime whose assets have been frozen.

"Canada has taken aggressive action and has among the toughest sanctions against Iran in the world. These sanctions cover the known leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and block virtually all financial transactions with Iran, including those with the Central Bank.

"Iran's current leaders regularly turn a blind eye to their international human rights obligations and obfuscate their nuclear activities by blocking international attempts to verify the country's claims.

"With its actions, Iran continues to undermine regional and global security and stability.

"Canada will continue to work with the growing list of like-minded countries to limit Iran's ability to further undercut global peace, prosperity and stability."

Backgrounder - Additional Sanctions on Iran

Effective immediately, the additional individuals and entities announced today, and named below, will be subject to an assets freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings. With these new measures, the total number of designated persons rises to 49 individuals and 339 entities.

Additional Entities

Behnam Sahriyari Trading Company

Darya Delalan Sefid Khazar Shipping Company (Iran) (a.k.a. Khazar Sea Shipping Lines or Darya-ye Khazar Shipping Company or Khazar Shipping Co. or KSSL or Daryaye Khazar [Caspian Sea] Co. or Darya-e-khazar Shipping Co.)


SAD Export Import Company (a.k.a. SAD Import & Export Company)

Turbine Engineering and Manufacturing (TEM) (a.k.a. TEM Co.)

Additional Individuals

Ali Ashraf Nouri

Hojatoleslam Ali Saidi (a.k.a. Hojjat-al-Eslam Ali Saidi or Saeedi)

Amir Ali Haji Zadeh (a.k.a. Amir Ali Hajizadeh)


On November 22, 2011, in response to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s assessment of Iran's nuclear program, Canada imposed new sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA).

These regulations did the following:

  • prohibit financial transactions with Iran, subject to certain exceptions;
  • expand the list of prohibited goods to include all goods used in the petrochemical, oil and gas industry in Iran;
  • amend the list of prohibited goods to include additional items that could be used in Iran's nuclear program;
  • add new individuals and entities to the list of designated persons found in Schedule 1 of the Iran Regulations, prohibiting dealings with these persons and entities; and
  • remove certain entities that have been recommended for removal by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that no longer present a proliferation concern for Canada.

The prohibitions on financial transactions and goods used in the petrochemical, oil and gas industry in Iran do not apply to contracts entered into prior to November 22, 2011.

Canadians with relatives living in Iran will still be able to send funds to family members, provided those relatives are not listed individuals and provided transactions do not exceed $40,000.

On October 18, 2011, Canada imposed sanctions on a further five Iranian individuals, four of whom are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (the Iranian special forces).

In July 2010, Canada implemented sanctions against Iran under SEMA. These sanctions prohibit all of the following:

  • dealing with designated individuals and entities, such as dealing in any property, or making any goods or financial or related services available to a designated individual or entity;
  • exporting or otherwise providing to Iran arms and related materials not already banned, items that could contribute to Iran's proliferation activities, and items used in refining oil and gas;
  • providing technical data related to these goods;
  • making any new investment in the Iranian oil and gas sector, or providing or acquiring financial services for this purpose;
  • providing or acquiring financial services to allow an Iranian financial institution (or a branch, subsidiary or office) to be established in Canada, or vice versa;
  • establishing correspondent banking relationships with Iranian financial institutions, or purchasing any debt from the Government of Iran; and
  • providing services for the operation or maintenance of a vessel owned or controlled by, or operating on behalf of, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

The Special Economic Measures (Iran) Permit Authorization Order (SOR/2010-166), made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act, authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue a permit to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations.

Existing UN sanctions

Since 2006, the United Nations Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran in response to its nuclear program. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council adopted resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1929 (2010) imposing sanctions against Iran in response to the proliferation risks presented by Iran's nuclear program and in light of Iran's continuing failure to meet the requirements of the IAEA and to comply with the provisions of earlier Security Council resolutions. These resolutions require Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and to suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Iran implement the decisions of the Security Council in Canadian domestic law. Implementation of the travel bans imposed by resolutions 1803 (2008) and 1929 (2010) is ensured in Canada under existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Other measures

For the past eight years, Canada has been the lead co-sponsor of the annual resolution at the UN General Assembly on the situation of human rights in Iran. The 2011 resolution highlighted long-standing violations of human rights by the Iranian authorities, such as the persistent discrimination against and violation of the fundamental human rights of women and girls, stoning and amputation, widespread discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, and media censorship and harassment of human rights defenders, including women's rights activists. Canada has pledged to continue to stand with the people of Iran against the oppression from the Iranian authorities.

The 2010 resolution was co-sponsored by 42 other UN member states and was supported by 89, with only 32 member states voting against. This represented the largest margin ever in favour of the annual resolution, signalling the international community's deepening concern with the human rights situation in Iran.