Canada imposes sanctions on additional Iranian individuals and entities
January 9, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations.
The Iranian regime must answer for its brutal repression of brave Iranian voices. Despite condemnation from the international community regarding the regime’s gross and systematic human rights violations, the regime continues to crack down on demonstrations and deploy propaganda that serves as a pretext for its destabilizing activities both domestically and abroad.
In response, Canada is imposing sanctions on 2 Iranian individuals and 3 Iranian entities that are complicit in these activities.
- Vahid Yaminpour, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth, a secretary of the Supreme Council of Youth Affairs and a state propaganda official who has hosted programs, produced content and provided advisory services for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Corporation, which is a state-controlled media organization that directly answers to the supreme leader’s office and propagates the regime’s talking points;
- Mohsen Qomi, a senior regime insider, a Shi’a cleric and a member of the Press Supervisory Board and Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution who also acts as a deputy adviser for international affairs in the supreme leader’s office and an adviser to the supreme leader on international communications; Mohsen Qomi is a permanent member of the Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for appointing the next supreme leader;
- The 15 Khordad Foundation (also known as the Fifteenth of Khordad Foundation), an untaxed revolutionary foundation that enriches Iranian kleptocrats, finances the operations of the most senior officials in the regime and implements the regime’s domestic policies and regional activities that threaten international peace and security;
- Iran Newspaper, an official publication of Iran, which disseminates the regime’s disinformation and propaganda to justify the state’s domestic repression and its destabilizing regional operations through organizations such as the Quds Force and Iran-aligned non-state actors; and
- The Press Supervisory Board, an organ of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance that is empowered by the Iranian regime’s Press Law to arbitrarily shut down news outlets and magazines should the board’s membership deem their published content to be harmful to the “bases of the Islamic Republic” or insulting to the supreme leader, senior members of the Shi’a clergy or public morals.
Canada will continue to coordinate with its international partners to make sure that the Iranian regime answers for its gross and systematic human rights violations and actions that continue to threaten international peace and security.
“Canada stands with the people of Iran, who continue to endure severe violations of their most basic human rights. The Iranian regime must stop its horrific crackdowns on demonstrations. Freedom of speech is for everyone, and Canada will continue to support those who stand up and demand that their voices be heard.”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 in response to Iran’s ongoing human rights violations and threats to regional peace and security, including:
- expanding sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (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, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, in the Parliament of Canada;
- investing $76 million to strengthen Canada’s capacity to implement sanctions and ensure it can move more quickly to freeze and seize sanctioned individuals’ assets, including through a dedicated bureau at Global Affairs Canada and additional support for the RCMP to investigate and identify assets and gather evidence;
- pursuing all the tools at Canada’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.
- On November 14, 2022, Canada announced the designation of Iran as a regime that has engaged in terrorism and systematic and gross human rights violations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; this designation made tens of thousands of senior members of the Iranian regime, including many members of the IRGC, inadmissible to Canada.
- Prior to today’s measures, Canada had imposed sanctions on 125 Iranian individuals and 186 Iranian entities, including the IRGC and the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatus.
- In 2012, Canada designated Iran as a supporter of terrorism under the State Immunity Act. In concert with the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, this designation authorizes 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.