Canada slaps new sanctions on Iran over drone exports to Russia

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Canada is imposing fresh sanctions on Iran, targeting the country’s drone and aviation industry with accusations of destabilizing the region and supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Seven people were added to the federal government’s growing list of sanctions hitting the Iranian regime, Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Tuesday, saying it was the 13th round of measures announced since October 2022.

“Today’s sanctions list 7 individuals involved in activities that gravely threaten international peace and security or that constitute gross and systemic violations of human rights in Iran,” the GAC statement read.

The list includes Ali Akbar Ahmadian, who became the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council in May. He is a former commander of the navy division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Ottawa is also sanctioning two officials of Imen Sanat Zaman Fara, an Iranian company that manufactures equipment for the country’s Law Enforcement Command.

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Others facing new Canadian sanctions include four executives in state-run aviation firms that produce lethal combat drones that are supplied to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine or to Iran’s military.

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Dozens of children killed by Iranian regime

The sanctions build on “Canada’s efforts to press the Iranian regime to address the legitimate grievances and interests of its citizens and impose costs for its destabilizing behaviour abroad,” GAC said.

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Under the sanctions, these individuals are barred from entering the country and any assets they may hold in Canada will be frozen.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said the latest sanctions “send a clear message to the Iranian regime that Canada will not tolerate its gross and systematic violations of human rights and its ongoing grave breach of international peace and security.”

“We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to respond to Iran’s egregious actions,” she added in a statement.

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So far, Ottawa has sanctioned 170 Iranian individuals and 192 Iranian entities, according to the federal government.

Critics have said it’s impossible to tell whether Ottawa’s sanctions are having their intended effect, with experts testifying in Parliament that Canada does a poor job of tracking its efforts.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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