Canada to take strong actions against the Iranian regime

Canada to take strong actions against the Iranian regime

For almost a month, hundreds of antigovernment protests have erupted in cities across Iran and around the world since the death of a young woman, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, in police custody in Tehran.

In September, members of Iran’s Guidance Patrol, or “morality police,” detained Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s conservative dress code. She later died on September 16, 2022, of what authorities said was a “heart attack”, a claim her family denies.

Ms. Amini’s death was a direct result of the systemic harassment and repression that women face in Iran.

About the protest in Iran

During the protests in Iran, authorities have ruthlessly cracked down on widespread opposition with excessive and lethal force, Human Rights Watch said.

“Based on videos of protests, and interviews with witnesses and a security force member, Human Rights Watch documented numerous incidents of security forces unlawfully using excessive or lethal force against protesters in 13 cities across Iran”.

Human Rights Watch

Due to the dreadful situation that Iran is experiencing, on October 7, 2022, the government of Canada stood in solidarity with the people of Iran who were peacefully protesting in the name of freedom and justice. “The Iranian regime’s brutal repression of these protests – killing, beating, and arresting protesters – is once again demonstrating its blatant disregard for human rights and human life. We are listening to and joining our voices with those who are demanding better,” said the government of Canada. Moreover, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada will take significant, further action against the Iranian regime.

In addition, on October 13, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations. Let’s explore the measures that Canada is taking to help hold the Iranian regime to account for its egregious actions.

New measures against the Iranian regime

Canada intends to:

  • List the Iranian regime or rather the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its top leaders (10,000+ people) as inadmissible to Canada. The government will impose that measure by pursuing a designation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. 
  • Implement the most robust and comprehensive set of sanctions in the world against the IRGC.
  • Introduce a new tailored regulation to ensure no sanctioned individual connected to the IRGC can enter Canada, pending the passage of Bill S-8.
  • Invest $76 million to strengthen Canada’s capacity to implement sanctions and ensure they can move more quickly to freeze and seize sanctioned individuals’ assets. Canada will also have a dedicated bureau at Global Affairs Canada and additional support to the RCMP. This will allow Canada to investigate and identify assets, and gather evidence. This builds on new authorities introduced in Budget 2022.
  • Pursue all the tools at their disposal, including the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law). This enables restrictive financial and property measures for foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of human rights.

Canada also announced additional sanctions against senior Iranian officials and prominent entities that:

  • directly implement repressive measures,
  • violate human rights, and
  • that also spread the Iranian regime’s propaganda.

These sanctions effectively will freeze any assets these individuals may hold in Canada. “We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to implement the most robust sanctions against the Iranian regime in the world,” said the Government of Canada.

List of individuals and entities that have participated in gross human rights violation

This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Saeed Mortazavi, the Iranian Revolutionary Court prosecutor. They ordered the torture of Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi. Kazemi died as a result of her mistreatment while in custody in 2003.
  • Amir Hatami, Brigadier General in the Iranian regular army. Amir is the senior advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces and a former minister of defence.
  • Hossein Shariatmadari, Editor-in-Chief of Kayhan. They are a conservative state-controlled newspaper that regularly publishes anti-Semitic propaganda.
  • Manouchehr Amanollahi, Commander of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces in the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province in southwestern Iran.
  • Gholamreza Ziaei, director of Rajaei Shahr (from October 2017 to June 2019). Also Evin (from July 2019 to June 2020) prisons.
  • Peyman Jebelli, Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
  • Ali Larijani a member of Iran’s Expediency Council, a former IRGC official and a former speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, also known as the Iranian Majlis or Iranian Parliament
  • Mohammad Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran from 2013 to 2021

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.

Message from the Prime Minister to the Iranian community

“To the strong, resilient, and proud Iranian Canadian community: We hear your voices, we hear your calls for action. That is why today, we’re using the most powerful tools we have to crack down on this brutal regime and the individuals responsible for its heinous behaviour. Our government will continue to use every single tool at our disposal, including the Magnitsky sanctions.”

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

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