Canada imposes Iran sanctions

Canada has moved to impose sanctions on Iran that are designed to restrict that country's nuclear program and "send a clear message to the Iranian regime that international standards cannot be flouted without consequence," says Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

The move aligns with a UN Security Council resolution that was passed earlier in June, and similar sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States against Iran, Cannon told a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday.

"If Iran continues to defy its UN obligations, it could undermine security in the Middle East and around the world. Canada will continue to hold Iran accountable," Cannon said.

The sanctions introduced by Canada restrict Iran's access to uranium nuclear materials and technology, both directly and through third parties, such as key members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Canada demands that Iran fully co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency by suspending its enrichment activities, as well as engage in a constructive dialogue with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States with a view to reaching a diplomatic solution as soon as possible, Cannon said.

Failing that, Canada is prepared to impose further sanctions, he added.

Iran was a key focus at a meeting of world foreign ministers in Gatineau, Que., in March and will also be under discussion at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits in Toronto this week, Cannon confirmed.

On June 9, the UN passed a resolution imposing a fourth round of sanctions against Iran that was approved by a final tally of 12 "yes" votes, two "no" votes, from Brazil and Turkey, and one abstention, from Lebanon.

The sanctions would ban Iran from buying several categories of heavy weapons, including attack helicopters and missiles. The sanctions would also target financial institutions and individuals with suspected ties to the nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful, aimed at producing nuclear energy and medical isotopes, but the United States and many allies believe Tehran's real goal is to build atomic weapons.



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