Canada Announces Renewed Sanctions Against Iran for Nuclear Proliferation Activities

October 18, 2023

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Library Documents: 

October 18, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Iran’s nuclear proliferation activities continue to pose a major threat to regional and international security. In 2015, UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (UNSCR 2231) was adopted to fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which consists of a series of measures designed to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful. Today, these restrictions are set to expire, while Iran continues to scale up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is maintaining these restrictions by incorporating all sanctioned individuals, entities and prohibitions that are set to expire under UNSCR 2231 in the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations, Canada’s autonomous sanctions regime. As concerns related to Iran’s nuclear program persist, Canada is implementing these actions in coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to ensure that collectively, we can continue to impose pressure on the Iranian regime for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

This package targets 18 individuals and 56 entities engaged in activities that facilitate, support, provide funding for, contribute to or could contribute to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. This package also targets former or current senior officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated entities.

These measures will continue to impose a dealings prohibition on the listed persons, which will effectively freeze any assets they may hold in Canada and render listed individuals 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 nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation activities. As Iran continues to violate its international commitments and accelerate its nuclear program, Canada will work in lockstep with its allies to hold the regime accountable for its destabilizing nuclear efforts.


“Today’s sanctions, taken in coordination with our allies, send a clear message that the path of nuclear non-compliance will only further isolate the Iranian regime. Canada is rolling over these sanctions to ensure that we can continue to impose costs on the regime for its nuclear proliferation activities.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • October 18 marks the Transition Day of the JCPOA, on which certain sanctions provisions currently listed under UNSCR 2231 are set to expire. The expiration of these provisions is expected to trigger the lifting of sanctions on individuals and entities related to Iran’s nuclear program, as well as certain weapons prohibitions.

  • Today’s sanctions include the following prohibitions on persons in Canada or any Canadians outside Canada:

    • Prohibitions on the export to Iran of:
      • items, material, equipment, goods and technology related to goods listed in the Missile Technology Control Regime (2015/254)
      • battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircrafts, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined in the United Nations Register of Conventional Weapons
    • A prohibition on the provision to any person in Iran of technical assistance, financial or related services related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of the products subject to the export prohibitions
    • 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 the products subject to the export prohibitions
    • A prohibition on providing any technology to Iran in respect of any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons
    • A prohibition on the acquisition and import from Iran of arms and related material
  • As of today, Canada has sanctioned 194 Iranian individuals and 248 Iranian entities, including the IRGC and key members of the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatuses.

  • Canada consistently calls on Iran to return to compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA and to de-escalate its nuclear activities, including at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Canada is a leading contributor to the critical monitoring and verification of Iran’s nuclear program by the IAEA, having contributed $21 million since 2014, including $4 million in fiscal year 2022 to 2023. 

  • 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.