The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, announced today changes to Canada’s economic sanctions against Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act and the United Nations Act and signalled Canada’s willingness to resume dialogue with Iran.
Canada welcomed the January 16, 2016, confirmation by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran had fulfilled all necessary commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Canada has therefore amended its broad-reaching autonomous sanctions against Iran to allow for a controlled economic re-engagement, including lifting the broad ban on financial services, imports and exports. Canada has also updated its regulations under the United Nations Act in order to conform with the changes to the United Nations sanctions regime mandated by the UN Security Council.
Canadian companies will now be better positioned to compete with other companies globally.
Canada continues to have serious concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and will continue to maintain tight restrictions on exports to Iran of goods, services and technologies considered sensitive from a security perspective (including nuclear goods and technologies, as well as those that could assist in the development of Iran’s ballistic-missile program). A Notice to Exporters has been issued indicating that while all applications for export permits will be considered on a case-by-case basis, permit applications to export the most sensitive items on the Export Control List will normally be denied. Canada will also maintain a revised list of individuals and entities of most concern in relation to the risk of proliferation and to Iran’s ballistic missile activities and with whom any transactions would continue to be prohibited. Canada has added six individuals and one entity in response to Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Canada has had no real engagement with Iran since September 2012, when the embassy of Canada in Tehran was closed and Iranian diplomats were expelled from Canada. While Iran remains a country of concern, Canada prefers dialogue over withdrawal.
Canada is willing to have discussions with Iranian officials, including talks on the possibility of restoring diplomatic contacts. We will maintain our firm commitment to the human rights of Iranians. Canada will steadfastly continue to oppose Iran’s support for terrorist organizations, its threats toward Israel, and its ballistic missile program, while also monitoring Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA.
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