Canada Passes Sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act

July 26, 2010

On July 26, 2010, Prime Minister Harper made a statement announcing that Canada is imposing sanctions on Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act. These sanctions are in addition to existing sanctions passed under the United Nations Act.

Iran continues to violate its international obligations by ignoring successive UN Security Council resolutions to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and suspend its enrichment-related activities.

Therefore, in close consultation with like-minded partners, including the United States and the European Union, and building upon UN Resolution 1929, the Government of Canada is implementing further sanctions against Iran through the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA).

Sanctions prohibit all of the following:

dealing in the property of designated persons;
exporting or otherwise providing to Iran arms and related material not already banned, items used in refining oil and gas and items that could contribute to Iran's proliferation activities;
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;
making any new investment in the Iranian oil and gas sector;
establishing correspondent banking relationships with Iranian financial institutions, or purchasing any debt from the government of Iran; and
providing a vessel owned or controlled by, or operating on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) with services for the vessel's operation or maintenance.
In addition, 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 to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.

Overview of Existing UN Sanctions

Since 2006, the United Nations Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran in response to its nuclear programme. 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 programme in light of Iran's continuing failure to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (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, as amended, 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.

On June 22, 2010, Minister Lawrence Cannon made the following address regarding the measures Canada took to implement Resolution 1929 (2010).

UN Sanctions

The measures imposed against Iran pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions include:

a prohibition on the export to Iran of certain items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran's uranium enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems (the Iran Regulations refer to a number of goods listed in the International Atomic Energy Agency's Information Circulars INFCIRC/254/Rev.9/Part 1 and INFCIRC/254/Rev.7/Part 2 and UN Security Council document S/2010/263, as well as to a number of goods listed in Group 1 (Dual-Use List) and Group 2 (Munitions List) in A Guide to Canada's Export Controls), available in PDF format on the website of the DFAIT Export and Import Controls Bureau);
a prohibition on the provision to any person in Iran of technical assistance, financial services, brokerage or other services related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of any of the products subject to the export ban;
a prohibition on making available to any person in Iran any property, financial assistance or investment, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of any of the products subject to the export ban;
a prohibition on making property or financial services available to Iran for the purpose of investing in specified nuclear-related activities;
a prohibition on providing any technology in respect of any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons; and;
a prohibition on the export to Iran of any battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircrafts, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems;
a prohibition on the import from Iran of arms and related material and items related to proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems (listed in the International Atomic Energy Agency's Information Circulars INFCIRC/254/Rev.9/Part 1 and INFCIRC/254/Rev.7/Part 2 and UN Security Council document S/2010/263);
an assets freeze against persons and entities engaged in Iran's uranium enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or in the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, who have been listed by the Security Council or the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 18 of resolution 1737 (2006) ("the 1737 Committee");
a travel ban against persons listed by the Security Council or the 1737 Committee as being involved in Iran's nuclear programme; and
a prohibition against claims by Iran or designated persons in relation to any transactions prevented by reason of the sanctions imposed against Iran.

Canada also has certain policy measures in place with regard to Iran, outside the context of United Nations Security Council decisions. More information on these measures can be found at the following link: Canada-Islamic Republic of Iran relations.

Selected documents

Regulations and Orders made under the Special Economic Measures Act:

Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations (SOR/2010-165): entered into force on July 22, 2010
Special Economic Measures (Iran) Permit Authorization Order (SOR/2010-166): entered into force on July 22, 2010

Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Iran:

Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on Iran (SOR/2007-44): entered into force on February 22, 2007
Regulations Amending the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on Iran (SOR/2007-105): entered into force on May 17, 2007
Regulations Amending the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Iran (SOR/2008-118): entered into force on April 17, 2008
Regulations Amending the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Iran (SOR/2010-154): entered into force on June 17, 2010
Justice Canada unofficial consolidation of the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Iran

Related links

United Nations Security Council 1737 Committee: Information concerning the work of the Committee, including related UN Security Council resolutions, a consolidated list, and links to the International Atomic Energy Agency's Information Circulars INFCIRC/254/Rev.9/Part 1 and INFCIRC/254/Rev.7/Part 2 and UN Security Council document S/2010/263
Canada Border Services Agency - Customs Notice 07-009
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions - Iran sanctions
DFAIT Export and Import Controls Bureau

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions relating to this page, please e-mail: sanctions@international.gc.ca or call (613) 995-1108.