Canada expands sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, is escorted by technicians during a tour of Tehran's research reactor center in northern Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (AP / Iranian President's Office)
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:51AM EST
Canada is establishing tougher sanctions against Iran as efforts to engage the Mideast nation on its nuclear program continue to be ignored, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday.
Baird said 98 additional individuals and entities have been added to an already long list of those associated with the Iranian regime -- and are therefore considered to be "designated persons" who are "surrounding and supporting Iran's nuclear program."
"Canada's measures also target economic sectors that indirectly support or provide funds for Iran's nuclear program: oil and gas, mining, metals, and shipping. The amended regulations further isolate Iran from the global financial system," Baird said.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij paramilitary organization are now added to that list. With Tuesday's announcement there are now 50 individuals and 433 entities on Canada's designated persons list. Those on the list are subject to an assets freeze in Canada and a ban on any economic dealings.
Baird announced the updated list Tuesday during a media conference call from Morocco, where he is attending meetings of the Friends of the Syrian People.
On the call, Baird was also asked about recent comments by an Iranian military leader, who said international sanctions actually strengthen Iran by making the country more independent from the international community. Baird dismissed those comments as nothing more than posturing.
"What do we expect them to say: that these sanctions are having a devastating effect on their economy, on inflation and their currency? There's no doubt the sanctions have had a significant effect on Iran," he said.
Baird did acknowledge, however, "as yet we have been unsuccessful having the senior leadership change course."