Iran says Canada terror designation for Guards 'hostile'

Iran says Canada terror designation for Guards 'hostile'
Iran condemned Canada's listing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization as "unwise and unconventional", following the US in 2019
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Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani holds a press conference in Tehran, Iran on December 5, 2022. (Photo by Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Iran on Thursday condemned as "irresponsible" and "hostile" a decision by Canada to designate the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist entity.

Ottowa announced on Wednesday it had placed the Guards on its terror blacklist over "disregard for human rights" and "willingness to destabilise the international rules-based order".

In a statement Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani hit out at the Canadian move as "hostile" and "contrary to the accepted norms and principles of international law".

"This irresponsible and provocative move is a continuation of the wrong path that the Canadian government has taken over the past decade," he added.

Canada's terror listing bars members of the Guards from entering Canada and Canadians from having any dealings with individual members or the group.

Any assets the organisation or its members hold in Canada may also be seized.

The decision to add the Guards to Canada's terror list comes amid tensions between Ottawa and Tehran which have not had formal diplomatic relations since 2012.

Canada and other nations have been engaged in legal action against Iran at the International Court of Justice over the downing of Flight PS752 in January 2020.

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Iranian expats and families of the victims of from the flight, which was downed by Iran shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew, including 85 Canadian citizens and permanent residents, have long pressed Ottawa to designate the militia as a terrorist entity.

Tehran said a missile strike on the aircraft was carried out by mistake.

Ottawa has previously listed the Quds Force, the Guards' foreign operations arm, as a terrorist entity, and in 2022 permanently denied entry to more than 10,000 Iranian officials, including Guards members.

The United States listed the Guards as a foreign terrorist organisation in April 2019.

Earlier this month, the European Union also sanctioned the Guards for allegedly supplying drones to Russia and its allies in the Middle East.