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Canada to ban Iran’s IRGC leadership from entry

Canada on Friday said it would ban the senior leadership of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from entering the country, in a set of moves intended to punish the organisation and Tehran’s leadership for the violent crackdown on protests and the downing of a plane two years ago.

At a news conference yesterday, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his deputy Chrystia Freeland announced that the IRGC will be classified under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a measure used by Ottowa against governments and actors accused of the most serious war crimes.

That act includes the banning of the top 50 per cent of IRGC leadership – which consists of over 10,000 officers and senior members – from entering Canada. The Canadian government also vowed to add more sanctions on the targeted individuals in the coming weeks and months.

“This is the strongest measure we have to go after states and state entities,” Trudeau stated. Freeland also said that the “IRGC is a terrorist organisation”, although the government itself did not officially classify it as such. According to an anonymous government source cited by the Reuters news agency, to add the group to the terror list would be an act of the domestic criminal code, which would risk unintended consequences and reportedly be impractical.

The actions taken against the IRGC are not only a consequence of its harsh crackdown on protests, which have erupted and spread throughout Iran after the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini while in police custody last month, but also in response to the Iranian military’s shooting of a Ukrainian International Airlines plane in January 2020.

That incident, which Tehran insists was an accident over its mistaken identification of the plane as a US military jet, killed 176 people, 138 of whom had ties to Canada.

Source : Middle East Monitor

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