Canada to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization

Canada announced on Wednesday that it will designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and may investigate former senior Iranian officials residing in the country, according to a senior cabinet member.

“Canada will use all possible tools to combat terrorist activities carried out by the IRGC,” Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated, highlighting the “very strong and compelling evidence” supporting the decision.

This move mirrors a similar action taken by the United States in April 2019.

For years, opposition legislators have urged the government to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization. However, the Liberal government had previously refrained, citing potential unintended consequences.

When asked why the decision took so long, LeBlanc explained that it was based on legal and security service advice rather than political pressure.

Canada already designates the IRGC’s overseas branch, the Quds Force, as a terrorist organization. Ottawa severed diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2012.

The IRGC, a powerful entity that controls a business empire along with elite armed and intelligence units in Iran, has been accused by Western nations of conducting a global terrorist campaign, allegations that Iran denies.

“Current and former senior Iranian government officials who are in Canada may be investigated and removed,” LeBlanc added, without specifying the identities or number of individuals involved.

Once a group is placed on the terror list, Canadian police can charge anyone who provides financial or material support to the group, and banks can freeze assets. In October 2022, Canada announced it would bar the IRGC’s top leadership from entering the country and promised additional targeted sanctions.