Ottawa sanctions 25 senior Iranian officials

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Ottawa sanctions 25 top Iranian officials

The morality police and leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are targeted by Canadian sanctions.

Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is among those targeted by Canadian sanctions.

Several days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement, the federal government finally unveiled a list of 25 Iranian individuals and 9 entities newly targeted by Canadian sanctions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announces an asset freeze in Canada and an inadmissibility for senior officials playing a leading role in the implementation of repressive measures and the violation of human rights in Iran.< /p>

The list, obtained by Radio-Canada, includes prominent leaders of the Islamic Republic. Among them is Mohammed Hussein Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces.

Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Esmail Qaani, commander of the Al-Quds Force, and Esmail Khatib, Minister of Intelligence, are also targeted.

The government Canadian also places on its list of sanctioned persons and entities the boss of the morality police, Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh, and the secretary of the Iranian headquarters for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, Mohammad Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani.

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Among the entities targeted are the morality police and Elvin prison, where political prisoners are held.

Ottawa thus wishes to put pressure on the Iranian regime and denounce ” gross violations of human rights” as well as its blatant disregard for human lives.

Since the death of young Mahsa Amini, Iran has been rocked by a wave of protests and a bloody crackdown by the ruling regime. In the past two weeks, at least 92 protesters have died, according to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Iran Human Rights (IHR).

These targeted sanctions are a good decision and can potentially have a greater impact than blanket sanctions which are more difficult to implement and which can be circumvented, according to Thomas Juneau, professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa.

He points out that many Iranian leaders, or members of their families, have assets in Canada, come to the country or send their children there.

Professor Thomas Juneau considers it essential that the sanctions regime is strictly enforced. Canada has traditionally had difficulty fully implementing the sanctions it announces, he notes.

“Announcing sanctions is one thing; implanting them is another. »

— Thomas Juneau, professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa

Even though many of those targeted by Ottawa have no connection to Canada and will not be directly affected through punitive measures, they remain important, according to Thomas Juneau.

They send a signal to Canadians, to our allies, to the Iranian government and – very importantly – to the population Iranian government that Canada opposes violence, says the professor.

Note that the Trudeau government has still not designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, as the Conservatives in Ottawa have long called for. They want to follow up on a motion to this effect adopted in the House of Commons in 2018.

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