Canada broadens sanctions against participants in Russian, Iranian regimes

By Cristin Schmitz

Law360 Canada (November 1, 2022, 2:05 PM EDT) -- Canada is continuing to broaden its dealings bans and asset freezes against supporters and participants in the regimes of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On Oct. 31, Global Affairs Canada announced new sanctions against four persons “that have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Iran,” as well as two “prominent entities” that “have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Iran and/or have participated in the Iranian regime’s malign activities abroad.”

“The Iranian regime’s brutal crackdowns on protesters, and against women in particular, continue to violate the Iranian people’s human rights,” the federal government said in an Oct. 31 press release. “Its actions have resulted in the death and injury of many Iranians, including children, who have been targeted in supposedly safe spaces, such as schools.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly said in the statement that “Canada will not stand idly by in the face of these aggressions and is taking concrete steps to address the regime’s egregious and destabilizing actions, both in Iran and abroad.”

“The Iranian people, including women and youths, are risking their lives because they have endured for far too long a regime that has repressed and violated their humanity,” the foreign minister said. “They are demanding that their human rights be respected, and it is our duty to echo and amplify their voices. Canada will continue to support the Iranian people as they courageously demand a better future.”

The latest sanctions, which went into effect Oct. 28, are directed at Iranian nationals Hossein Rahimi, Ahmad Fazelian, Asadollah Jafari and Seyed Morteza Mousavi.

Entities added to the sanctions list effective Oct. 28 are The Law Enforcement Forces and Al-Mustafa International University.

The dealings prohibitions, under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations, for the most part freeze any assets those listed may hold in Canada. This is done by prohibiting persons in Canada, and Canadians outside Canada, from engaging in any activity related to any property of those listed or providing financial or related services to them.

Individuals listed in response to gross and systematic human rights violations are also deemed inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Canada has so far imposed sanctions on 93 Iranian individuals and 179 Iranian entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the regime’s security, intelligence and economic apparatus.

The federal government said Canada “is also aware of Iran’s active support of Russian atrocities in Ukraine through the sale of weapons and the provision of Iranian military personnel to train and assist Russian forces on the use of Iranian weapons. Canada strongly condemns this behaviour and will use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to respond to these brutal and unacceptable actions perpetrated by the Iranian regime.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced as well new sanctions Oct. 28 against Russian individuals and entities “complicit in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” targeting 35 senior officials of energy entities already under sanction, including those of Gazprom and its subsidiaries, and six energy-sector entities “involved in Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Trudeau told the 27th Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians in Winnipeg that day that Canada intends also to impose new sanctions on members of the Russian justice and security sectors, including judges, prosecutors, police officers and investigators, and prison officials “involved in gross and systematic human rights violations against Russian opposition leaders.”

The latest Canadian sanctions against the Russian regime and its enablers add to those already implemented againstmore than 1,400 individuals and entities complicit in Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a press release.

Trudeau  announced as well that Canada will issue federal-government-backed “Ukraine Sovereignty Bonds,” whichwill help Ukraine’s government continue operations, including providing essential services to Ukrainians, such as pensions, and purchasing fuel before winter. The equivalent proceeds from the five-year bond will be channeled directly to Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund’s Administered Account, the government said.

The government noted Canada has provided $2 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine this year and has committed to more than $600 million in military assistance, as well as $15 million in de-mining support.

“Canada will continue our unwavering support for Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence,” pledged the government. “We will continue to work with our international partners to hold [Russian President Vladimir] Putin accountable for his illegal invasion and the war crimes and human rights violations that have been committed by his regime.”

“In standing up for themselves, Ukrainians are standing up for democracy everywhere,” Trudeau said in a statement Oct. 28.

See here for free access to Law360’s coverage of the war in Ukraine.

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