The Canadian government is looking at ways to “responsibly” designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
He made the comments on Monday at a ceremony in Richmond Hill, Ont., marking four years since the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down passenger flight Ukraine International PS 752, killing all 176 people, including many Canadians, on board.
“The Iranian regime must be held accountable,” Trudeau said, adding that thousands of people have lost their lives at the hand of that regime.
“We will continue our work, including continuing to look for ways to responsibly list the IRGC as a terrorist organization and explore any and all other options,” Trudeau said Monday.
“One of the things that distinguishes Canada from that regime is we are a country of laws and principles and need to make sure we continue to follow those laws and principles, because that is the way we hold that regime to account,” he added.
Trudeau had said in November 2023 that the government would “continue to watch and make sure we’re able to do everything we can that is responsible against the impact of the IRGC.”
“As I have said many many times, the Iranian regime responsible for the shooting down of PS752, killing of its own citizens and killing of Canadian citizens, its sponsorship of terror around the world, means that we will continue to do everything necessary, both to hold that regime to account, to limit its impact around the world and to protect Canadians,” Trudeau said at the time.
Iran ‘must be held accountable,’ Trudeau says remembering victims of downed Flight PS 752
On Jan. 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was hit minutes after taking off from Tehran, Iran, by two Iranian surface-to-air missiles as tensions ran high in Iran following the U.S. assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds force.
Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 Canadian permanent residents were among those killed.
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On Monday, Canada along with Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom filed proceedings against Iran at the International Civil Aviation Organization.
This is in addition to having taken Iran to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, seeking accountability for the shooting down of Flight PS 752.
‘There’s no accountability’: Families of Flight 752 victims demand justice, 4 years later
So far, Ottawa has sanctioned nearly 450 Iranian individuals and entities, including the IRGC, the Iranian regime and top officials.
“Our government condemns the Islamic Republic regime’s continued disregard for the rule of law, its sham trials, its oppression of peaceful protests, especially its brutal reaction to the protests in support of the rights of women and girls in the wake of the killing of Mahsa Amini,” Trudeau said.
Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died on Sept. 16, 2022, while in the custody of Iran’s so-called morality police for reportedly wearing her hijab too loosely.
Her death sparked global criticism of Iran, as well as anti-government protests at home and abroad, including Canada.
— with files from Global News’ Negar Mojtahedi
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