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Canada barring entry to IRGC members in new Iran sanctions push | Politics News


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced plans to ban about 10,000 members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from entering Canada, as international pressure on Tehran mounts amid a global crisis. anti-government protests.

During a press conference on Friday, Trudeau said 50% of the top leaders of the IRGC will be barred from entry for life under new penalties introduced through Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Trudeau said the individuals targeted included “more than 10,000 senior officers and members .” [of the IRGC] most responsible” for what he called “bad state behavior” by Iran.

“The appointment of a regime is a permanent decision. This means that the more than 10,000 members of the IRGC leadership, for example, will not be allowed to come to Canada forever,” he told reporters.

The IRGC is a branch of the Iranian military that ultimately responds to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It is responsible for the covert foreign operations of the Iranian government and provides military support to allies in the region.

Trudeau also said his government would invest $55 million (C$76 million) to enforce the sanctions regime, while expanding its capacity to prevent individuals and groups from linking to state authorities. Iran launders money in Canada, among other curbs.

Iran has faced growing international condemnation after Mahsa Amini’s death in Iranian police custody. The 22-year-old died after she was detained by the country’s so-called “ethical police” last month over her outfit.

Dozens of people were killed in the protests that followed, while many more were arrested.

Earlier this week, the administration of US President Joe Biden punished Iranian government officials for allegedly engaging in “violence against peaceful protesters and shutting down Iran’s Internet access”.

Iranian police denied reports Amini was beaten while in custody and Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, earlier this week blame United States and Israel for the protests, which he called “riots”.

But her case has mobilized protests across the country, as well as internationally; According to police estimates, a recent protest in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, drew tens of thousands of people.

Canada’s push for Iran sanctions comes amid strained relations between the two countries, which have worsened in the aftermath of the US sanctions. shoot down of a Ukraine International Airlines plane flying over Tehran in early 2020.

The IRGC says it accidentally shot down flight PS752 after mistaking it for a missile at a time of heightened tensions over the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani during a US strike in Baghdad, Iraq.

The incident – which killed all 176 passengers and crew, dozens of them with ties to Canada – prompted anger globally and the Trudeau government has spearheaded international efforts. to seek accountability.

“We remain relentless in our pursuit of justice for the families of these victims, and we won’t stop there to make sure the regime is held accountable,” the prime minister said. speak in a statement this week marking 1,000 days since the crash happened.

It is unclear how Canada will identify top IRGC officials, who Mr. Trudeau said Friday would be the target of new sanctions. Iran has mandatory military service, where conscripts can be transferred to the IRGC, which boasts tens of thousands of officers.

Trudeau’s government has faced pressure from the opposition Conservative Party to designate the IRGC as a “terrorist” organization.

But doing so would be a violation of the domestic penal code, risk unwanted consequences and would be impractical, a government source told Reuters news agency.

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