Canada Imposes Sanctions on Iran for Systematic Human Rights Violations

October 3, 2022

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October 3, 2022 – 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. These sanctions are in response to gross human rights violations that have been committed in Iran, including its systematic persecution of women and in particular, the egregious actions committed by Iran’s so-called ‘Morality Police,’ which led to the death of Mahsa Amini while under their custody. Iran’s continued grave and ongoing breaches of international law are well known and documented, including its blatant disregard for human life. Canada will always stand with Iranians and the victims of this regime, including with the families and loved ones of the victims of the downing of Flight PS752. 

These new measures build on the Government of Canada’s existing sanctions regime and lists 25 individuals and 9 entities. Among the individuals and entities listed are senior Iranian officials and prominent entities that directly implement repressive measures, violate human rights and spread the Iranian regime’s propaganda and misinformation.

This list includes, but is not limited to:

Mohammed-Hossein Bagheri, Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces; Major General Hossein Salami, Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); Esmail Qaani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; Seyyed Mohammed Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani, Secretary of Iran’s Headquarters for the Office of Enjoining Right and Forbidding Evil; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Cyber Defense Command; Evin Prison, which houses political prisoners;  Iran’s Morality Police, and Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, Head of the Morality Police; Esmail Khatib, Minister of Intelligence and Security and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

These measures prohibit dealings related to the listed individuals and entities, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada. Individuals listed in response to gross and systematic violations of human rights are also rendered inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

These measures demonstrate Canada’s continued resolve to uphold the international rules-based order, which underpins global peace and security, and to defend and preserve human rights.


“Canada will continue to speak up and defend human rights – women’s rights—because it is the right thing to do. Our message to Iran is clear: the continued and systemic persecution of Iranian women must stop and they will be held accountable for human rights violations and blatant disregard for human life. Canada applauds the courage and actions of Iranians and will stand by them as they fight for their rights and dignity.”

– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Prior to today’s measures, Canada had imposed sanctions on a total of 41 Iranian individuals and 161 Iranian entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatus.

  • In 2012, Canada designated the state of Iran as a 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.