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Canada Labels Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard Terror Group

19.06.2024 22:27

Foreign minister warns Canadians to leave Iran due to possible retaliation.

Canada designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terror group, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced Wednesday.

"The Iranian regime has consistently displayed disregard for human rights, both inside and outside of Iran, as well as a willingness to destabilize the international rules-based order," LeBlanc said at a news conference, the Toronto Star reported.

But as the announcement was made, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly issued a warning.

"Consequently, there is an increased risk of arbitrary detention for Canadians in Iran," Joly wrote on X. "We reiterate our call for Canadians to refrain from travelling to Iran and those who are currently there should return."​​​​​​​

The designation comes after years of mounting pressure on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

What tipped the scales was the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752 by the IRGC in January 2020, minutes after it left Tehran's airport. All 175 passengers were killed, including 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents.

Iran at first denied it fired the missiles that downed the plane, then admitted the IRGC did it accidentally, believing the plane was an incoming hostile missile.

Canada led other countries that had lost nationals in the push to get Iran to formally accept responsibility and compensate the families of the victims.

Trudeau told the families at a ceremony marking the fourth anniversary of the tragedy that the designation was on the horizon.

"We know there is more to do to hold the regime to account and we will continue our work, including continuing to look for ways to responsibly list the IRGC as a terrorist organization," he said at the Jan. 8 ceremony.

The Trudeau government also explained its reluctance to date to tag the IRGC with the terrorism label.

The government said the designation could result in repercussions for Iranians in Canada who were opposed to the Iranian regime but had been forced to serve with the IRGC in the past as part of mandatory military service. -

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