OTTAWA — Canada announced Friday it will permanently deny entry to more than 10,000 members of Iran’s “murderous” regime, including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Ottawa blames for “heinous” acts against the Iranian people.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would list Iran under “the most powerful provision” of Canada’s immigration and refugee act to make “over 10,000 [IRGC] officers and senior members most responsible for this heinous state behavior inadmissible to Canada.”
“This is the strongest measure we have to go after states and state entities,” he said, noting it was previously applied only against regimes for war crimes or genocide.
Those listed “will be inadmissible to Canada forever” and will be prevented from holding assets or having any financial dealings in this country, he said.
Thousands of Canadians have marched in the streets in recent weeks in solidarity with Iran’s protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police.
At least 92 people have been killed in the protests in Iran since September 16, according to the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights, while an official report puts the number at around 60 dead, including 12 members of the security forces.
A strict dress code in Iran requires women to wear the Islamic veil. In recent days, schoolgirls have joined in the protests by removing their hijab or shouting anti-government slogans.
Ottawa has already applied sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, and Trudeau announced a new round last week against dozens of Iranian officials, including its morality police.
Canada has also pressed Tehran to compensate the families of victims of flight PS752, which was shot down by Iran in January 2020, leaving 176 dead, including 85 Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
“The Iranian regime is a state sponsor of terrorism. It is repressive, theocratic and misogynist,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told the news conference.
“We are formally recognizing that fact and acting accordingly,” she said.
Trudeau and Freeland also said Ottawa would “massively expand targeted [economic] sanctions” against individuals and entities in Iran, and move to prevent any money laundering by them in Canada.
Any of those listed in the new ban with existing ties to Canada will see their visas or permanent residency status canceled, they added.