As the people of Iran continue to stand up and demand their rights, Canada stands with them. The Iranian regime’s brutal repression of these demonstrations – killing, beating, and arresting protesters – once again makes clear its blatant disregard for human rights. As the Iranian people continue to press their government and hold it accountable, the Government of Canada is taking action to prevent senior members of the Iranian regime from finding safe haven in Canada.
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that Canada has designated the Islamic Republic of Iran as a regime that has engaged in terrorism and systematic and gross human rights violations. This means that tens of thousands of senior members of the Iranian regime, including many members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are now inadmissible to Canada.
The designation of the Iranian regime is pursuant to subparagraph 35(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and applies to those who were senior officials at anytime from November 15, 2019, onwards. The list of senior officials encompass a wide array of individuals in a regime that has perpetrated crimes against the people of Iran and other nations. It includes: heads of state, members of the Cabinet, ambassadors, senior diplomats, members of the judiciary, senior military and intelligence officials and senior public servants. In addition to being banned from entering Canada, current and former senior officials present here may be investigated and removed from the country.
This designation is one element of the Government of Canada’s broader efforts to hold the Iranian regime and the IRGC accountable for their crimes. The government has also announced sanctions against Iranian nationals under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). Iranian nationals sanctioned on grounds of gross human rights violations are inadmissible to Canada. Finally, a legislative change currently before Parliament (Bill S-8) would render all individuals sanctioned under such measures automatically inadmissible to Canada.
Canada will continue to work in lockstep with our partners, including the US, UK and Europe and use all diplomatic tools at our disposal to respond to the Iranian regime’s aggressions, whether in Iran or abroad.
Canada is taking decisive action by designating the Iranian Regime and its most senior officials – including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – as a regime that engages in gross violations of human rights and terrorist activity. The consequences will be severe. Those listed under the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act shall be permanently inadmissible and have no safe haven in Canada. This is the strongest sanction imposed on the Iranian regime yet. We will continue to stand up for women’s rights and fight for justice on behalf of the families of PS752. Canada will be a beacon for human rights around the world.
- The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
Canada is a country that many have come to in search of a safer and more prosperous future for them and their loved ones. Canada has a vibrant Iranian population, some of whom fled oppression in the past, and we are determined to take the most effective steps to keep them and all Canadians safe. With today’s news, senior officials of the Iranian regime and the IRGC are inadmissible to Canada. Their actions are reprehensible, and their views have no place in Canadian society. We will continue to demand accountability for the families of Flight PS752, and to condemn the regime’s persecution and violence. Perpetrators of gross and systematic human rights abuses are not welcome in this country. Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.
- The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Canada has taken incremental and measured action against the Iranian regime since 2010. In 2012 Canada designated Iran as a state supporter of terrorism under the State Immunity Act and several rounds of sanctions have been implemented since then.
The Prime Minister announced an intention to sanction additional Iranian individuals and entities on September 26. Since this announcement, so far, Canada has imposed sanctions against 52 Iranian individuals and 18 entities.
A gap between the SEMA and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) had been identified. Proposed legislation (Bill S-8) before Parliament would ensure that all grounds for sanctions under the SEMA would also be grounds for inadmissibility for foreign nationals.
All persons seeking entry to Canada must present themselves to an officer and must answer truthfully all questions put to them to determine their admissibility to Canada. Admissibility to Canada is decided on a case-by-case basis and based on the information available.
For information on inadmissibility to Canada, please see: Inadmissibility.