Statement by Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon on Iran Sanctions

July 26, 2010

(No. 237 - July 26, 2010 - 2:30 p.m. ET) The following is an edited transcript of a statement made to media by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Canada's new sanctions on Iran. The statement was made at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada headquarters at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 26, 2010.

"For almost 20 years, Iran has concealed its nuclear program and has violated its international obligations on non-proliferation. Nuclear proliferation is the gravest threat to humankind. Iran continues to keep that threat alive. Today, alongside our like-minded allies, Canada is implementing additional sanctions against Iran.

"Iran's continued disregard for successive United Nations Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency resolutions calling on it to comply with international nuclear obligations and suspend its enrichment activities is unacceptable.

"Iran's actions and aggressive statements are an affront to the efforts of Canada and like-minded countries to ensure peace and security worldwide.

"On July 11, 2010, Iran announced that it had produced 20 kilograms of uranium enriched to nearly 20 percent, in flagrant violation of previously imposed resolutions. These actions bring Iran closer to building nuclear weapons that threaten us all. Iran's failure to comply with international standards on numerous occasions continues to raise doubts about its objectives.

"Therefore, under the Special Economic Measures Act, Canada is imposing further sanctions. These additional sanctions are in no way meant to harm or punish the Iranian people. They are aimed at Iran's irresponsible and aggressive government.

"These tough new measures prohibit dealings with designated persons involved in nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation. They ban the export of proliferation-sensitive goods, items for refining oil and gas, all remaining arms, and technology related to these goods.

"They prohibit any new investment in Iran's oil and gas sector. These measures bar Iranian financial institutions from establishing a presence in Canada, and vice versa, while banning correspondent banking relationships with Iranian financial institutions and the purchase of Iranian government debt. They are effective immediately.

"These sanctions are intended to slow the progress of the Iranian authorities' nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. They are also intended to persuade the Iranian authorities to resume negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, with the aim of meeting Iran's international nuclear obligations.

"Canada believes that these additional sanctions, which build on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, adopted in June, send a strong signal to Iran: the international community is united in purpose and commitment. No state can threaten international peace and security without consequences."