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Canada Designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a Terrorist Group

Photo : AFP

In a significant policy move, Canada has officially designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity under its Criminal Code. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc made the announcement during a press conference in Ottawa, joined by Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Justice Minister David Lametti. The decision reflects Canada's stance against what it perceives as Iran's support for terrorism and its violations of human rights both domestically and internationally.

Minister LeBlanc emphasized that the IRGC's listing aims to curb its destabilizing activities and uphold the international rules-based order. This designation prohibits IRGC members from entering Canada and restricts Canadians from engaging in any transactions with them or the organization. Additionally, any assets held by the IRGC or its members in Canada may be seized under this new designation.

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Foreign Minister Melanie Joly urged Canadians currently in Iran to return home, citing security concerns associated with the IRGC's activities. The move comes amid longstanding pressure from Iranian expatriates and families of victims of Flight PS752, which was shot down by Iran in January 2020, claiming 176 lives including 85 Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The decision to list the IRGC follows a unanimous vote by Members of Parliament (MPs) last month, despite previous concerns from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration about potential unintended consequences affecting Iranians opposed to the regime. The IRGC now joins nearly 80 other entities on Canada's terror list, including Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, ISIS, and the Proud Boys.

This designation is not Canada's first action against Iranian entities; previously, Canada designated the Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC, as a terrorist entity. Furthermore, Canada has denied entry to over 10,000 Iranian officials, including IRGC members, since 2022. The United States had earlier labeled the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in 2019, and recently, the European Union sanctioned the IRGC for allegedly supplying drones to Russia and its allies in the Middle East.

Tensions between Canada and Iran have escalated in recent years, with Canada and other nations taking legal action against Iran at the International Court of Justice over the downing of Flight PS752. Tehran has claimed the aircraft's destruction was an accidental missile strike.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, ahead of the press conference, characterized the Iranian regime as "brutal, repressive, theocratic, and misogynist," underscoring Canada's broader condemnation of Iran's governance and policies. The designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity marks a significant step in Canada's efforts to address security threats posed by Iranian state entities on the global stage.

June 20, 2024 10:23 a.m. 373

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