Photo: Reuters

Canada adds IRGC to terror blacklist

The North American country joins a growing list of countries to ban Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

By Erin Viner

“The IRGC leadership are terrorists, The IRGC is a terrorist organization,” announced Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in an unequivocal statement, stressing that, “by listing the IRGC under IRPA (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) and indeed by listing the broader leadership of the Iranian regime – we are formally recognizing that fact and acting accordingly.”

The decision, she said would bar over “10,000 senior members of this terrorist organization” from “ever setting foot in Canada.” Every Iranian on the list will be sanctioned, prohibited from doing business or hiding assets in Canada.

“We will strengthen our crackdown on Iranian money laundering in Canada. We will not tolerate financial transactions with Iran that are associated with the IRGC and its proxies,” pledged the Deputy Premier, underscoring that, “Canada will not be a haven for the IRGC, for its money, for its leaders or for their henchmen.”

The IRGC is an elite paramilitary force that was founded during the Islamic Revolution in 1979. It acts separately from the country’s armed forces, with its own land, air and naval divisions; and its Quds Force special operations unit works to foster the Islamic Republic’s terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

Israel, the United States, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have already officially designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization. In fact, is the only state entity on the US State Department’s blacklist of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).

Ottawa’s decision to blacklist the IRGC follows mounting domestic criticism of the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over prolonged inaction. It also comes amid  mass anti-government demonstrations in Iran calling for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi following the death of a young Iranian woman in police custody after her arrest by so-called “morality police.”

“The Iranian regime is a state sponsor of terrorism. It is repressive, theocratic and misogynist,” declared Canadian Deputy Premier Freeland, emphasizing that the government stands with “Canadians who are demanding justice for their friends, their families, and for all of the people, for all of the women of Iran.”