The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations. This is the third package of sanctions imposed by Canada against the Iranian regime because of its ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize regional peace and security.
Today’s sanctions list six individuals and four entities, that are among the worst offenders that have participated in or enabled gross human rights violations, including against Iranian women, and disseminated propaganda to justify the Iranian regime’s repression and persecution of its citizens.
This list includes, but is not limited to:
- the Guardian Council, an entity that blocks meaningful participation in Iran’s elections by disqualifying candidates who do not align with the regime’s ideology and upholds laws that systematically violate the human rights of Iranians;
- the Assembly of Experts, an entity implicated in gross and systematic violations of human rights for its neglect in upholding constitutional provisions such as Article 38, which forbids torture;
- the Expediency Discernment Council, an entity comprised of senior regime officials who advise Iran’s Supreme Leader in all policy areas and in mediating legislative disputes between Iran’s Parliament and Guardian Council. It also upholds laws that systematically violate the human rights of Iranians;
- Seyyed Majid Mirahmadi, Deputy Interior Minister;
- Mohammad Karami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Operational Base in Sistan and Baluchistan; and
- Ezzatollah Zarghami, former head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Corporation.
These measures prohibit dealings with 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.
The protection and promotion of human rights is an integral part of Canada’s history, policies and constructive engagement in the world. Through its ongoing actions, the Iranian regime has demonstrated its blatant disregard for human life and human rights. For example, Iran’s Evin prison, where the regime has long incarcerated and tortured political prisoners, human rights defenders, women and ethnic minorities, many of whom are arbitrarily detained or held as hostages, was sanctioned by Canada on October 3, 2022. Canada also imposed sanctions against its former director, Gholamreza Ziaei, on the same day.
Through these measures, Canada is underscoring that these violations, whether in Iran or abroad, are unacceptable. Canada is committed to working towards listing individuals and entities responsible for gross and systematic human rights violations occurring in Iran, on an ongoing basis.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed the courage of Iranian women, youth and citizens from all walks of life as they risked their lives to demand their human rights. Canada will continue to support them by using all tools at our disposal to respond to the Iranian regime’sviolations of human rights and its threats to regional peace and security.”
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
On October 7, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada’s intent to implement several new measures to respond to Iran’s ongoing human rights violations and threats to regional peace and security, including:
- listing the Iranian regime, including top leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by pursuing a designation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
- expanding sanctions against the IRGC and introducing a new tailored regulation to ensure no sanctioned individual connected to the IRGC can enter Canada, pending the passage of Bill S-8;
- investing $76 million to strengthen Canada’s capacity to implement sanctions and ensure we can move more quickly to freeze and seize sanctioned individuals’ assets, including through a dedicated bureau at Global Affairs Canada and additional support to the RCMP to investigate and identify assets and gather evidence; and
- pursuing all the tools at the government’s disposal, including the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, which enables restrictive financial and property measures for foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of human rights.
Prior to today’s measures, Canada had imposed sanctions on 83 Iranian individuals and 173 Iranian entities, including the IRGC and the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatus.
In 2012, Canada designated the Islamic Republic 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.