Início Uncategorized Canada lists Iran’s IRGC as a terrorist organization – National

Canada lists Iran’s IRGC as a terrorist organization – National


Canada has listed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization under the Criminal Code.

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc made the announcement Wednesday after years of mounting pressure from Iranian Canadians and opposition parties.

“Our government will ensure that there is no immunity for Iran’s unlawful actions and its support of terrorism,” LeBlanc said at a press conference in Ottawa flanked by other cabinet members.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly warned Canadians in Iran that there was an heightened risk of arbitrary detention following Wednesday’s announcement.

“My message is clear: for those who are in Iran right now, it’s time to come back home,” she said. “And for those who are planning to go to Iran, don’t go.”

MPs voted unanimously last month to approve a report from the House of Commons justice committee that, among other measures, recommended the terrorist designation, but the motion was non-binding.

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Click to play video: 'Canadian government working ‘many years’ to list Iran’s IRGC as terrorist organization: Trudeau'


Canadian government working ‘many years’ to list Iran’s IRGC as terrorist organization: Trudeau


Families of Canadian victims of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752, which was shot down by the IRGC in 2020, have been calling on Ottawa to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization ever since. All 176 passengers onboard the plane were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

Iranian Canadians have also long complained that regime officials are entering Canada and sometimes providing support to Tehran.

The Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims thanked the government for “finally” listing the IRGC in a statement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at an event in January marking the four-year anniversary of the shootdown that the government was looking for “ways to responsibly list the IRGC as a terrorist organization.”


Click to play video: 'Trudeau says Canada ‘will always stand with’ those opposed to Iranian regime on anniversary of Flight 752 downing'


Trudeau says Canada ‘will always stand with’ those opposed to Iranian regime on anniversary of Flight 752 downing


The Conservatives and NDP have criticized the Liberal government for delaying the designation. The Tories have pointed to a 2018 motion urging the government to list the IRGC that also got Liberal support.

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“As a result of that delay, the IRGC has been able to grow stronger as a result of Trudeau’s inaction,” Conservative MP and foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said in a statement after the announcement.


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The NDP, like the Conservatives, took credit for pushing the government toward Wednesday’s decision. The party’s foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson proposed the House committee study that led to last month’s motion against the IRGC.

“The Liberals dragged their feet for years, but today’s news should finally bring some relief to Iranian-Canadians who have been targeted by the regime,” she said in a statement.


Click to play video: 'Iranian regime continues to target the families of Flight PS752 victims'


Iranian regime continues to target the families of Flight PS752 victims


LeBlanc pushed back on the criticism Wednesday, saying the designation came after careful consideration.

“The decision to list an organization … isn’t made because of comments on Twitter or in question period,” he said. “It’s made on the advise of our security services, it’s made based on foreign policy decisions. … It’s a deliberative process.”

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Being a listed terrorist entity carries severe consequences. It is illegal to contribute to any activity of a listed group, and its property can be seized and forfeited.


Click to play video: 'Poilievre says Canada must get tough with ‘tyrants of Tehran’ and ban IRGC'


Poilievre says Canada must get tough with ‘tyrants of Tehran’ and ban IRGC


The Qods Force, an international wing of the IRGC, has been listed as a terrorist organization since 2012. But the federal government has stopped short of pinning the label on the entire IRGC, which is a branch of the Iranian military that reports directly to Iran’s supreme leader.

The Qods Force trains, bankrolls and arms terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, according to the government.

Israel’s ambassador to Canada Iddo Moed said his country — which is waging a military campaign against Hamas in Gaza and is fighting Hezbollah forces across the border in Lebanon — welcomed Ottawa’s decision.

The move “sends a clear message to Iran that its terror activities in both the Middle East and around the world will not be tolerated,” Moed said in a statement.

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Click to play video: 'Feds ‘absolutely committed’ to keeping out IRGC-linked individuals for Iranian-Canadian community: Blair'


Feds ‘absolutely committed’ to keeping out IRGC-linked individuals for Iranian-Canadian community: Blair


An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled in 2022 that the IRGC was a listed terrorist entity “by association” due to the Qods Force designation, citing the relationship between the two groups.

Days before that 2022 ruling, Canada designated Iran as “a regime that has engaged in terrorism” and human rights violations, and barred senior members of the IRGC and the Iranian regime from Canada.

The move came amid mass protests in Iran and around the world against the regime after a young woman, Mahsa Amini, died in police custody under suspicious circumstances following her arrest for reportedly wearing her hijab too loosely.

Ottawa has also sanctioned 450 Iranian individuals and entities, including the IRGC, the Iranian regime and top officials.


Click to play video: 'Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief ‘not concerned’ amid calls for EU to add IRGC to terror list'


Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief ‘not concerned’ amid calls for EU to add IRGC to terror list


The United States listed the IRGC as a foreign terrorist entity in 2019.

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That listing made it difficult for Iranian Canadians with any past or present ties to the IRGC to travel to the U.S., even those who have severed their ties and fled Iran after completing mandatory service.

Justice Minister Arif Virani said enforcement of the foreign terrorist provision under the Criminal Code will be focused on intent, and whether a person no longer serves with the IRGC “would inform the analysis” of that person’s activities.

“If the person who is sending the money (to the IRGC and its proxies) does not know what it is going to be used for and is, in fact, kept in the dark about that information, that would also affect the analysis,” he said.

“I have a lot of confidence in our law enforcement, our Crown prosecutors and our judges in doing an evaluation on a case-by-case basis.”

Virani’s predecessor David Lametti in 2022 called listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization “a blunt instrument” that could impact innocent people along with the bad actors Canada seeks to target.


Click to play video: 'Lametti defends decision not to label IRGC a terrorist entity, calls it ‘blunt instrument’'


Lametti defends decision not to label IRGC a terrorist entity, calls it ‘blunt instrument’


Joly said the government has not faced pressure “per se” from Washington to follow them in making the terrorist designation, but added she has had “numerous” conversations with her U.S. counterparts on the issue that she would not elaborate on.

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The ongoing public inquiry into foreign interference has heard evidence from Canadian intelligence and security services that list Iran as a foreign interference threat and a top foreign state sponsor of cyber threat activity in Canada.

The inquiry is chiefly looking at alleged foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections, and has so far concluded Iran is not a “significant” threat actor in the election system.

However, Commissioner Marie-Josee Hogue’s interim report last month noted Iranian officials “are likely monitoring, influencing, and collecting information on the Iranian diaspora community in Canada” to prevent criticism of the regime.

Some Canada-based critics of the Iranian government have faced harassment and intimidation, the report said.

—With files from Stewart Bell and Saba Aziz





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