Jan. 04, 2023
OTTAWA ‑‑ B’nai Brith Canada discontinued today its lawsuit against the Federal Government for its failure to answer our request to list the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety as a terrorist entity. Still, we expect the IRGC leaders and senior members to be listed as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code.
B’nai Brith launched its lawsuit against the Government in 2020, citing the latter’s failure to comply with a House of Commons motion of 2018 to list the IRGC in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
“The lawsuit is now discontinued because the Government, on Oct. 7, 2022, belatedly responded to the House of Commons motion by listing the IRGC leaders and senior members as a terrorist entity under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as outlined by (Deputy Prime Minister) Chrystia Freeland,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.
“While this is an important development, it points to the need for immediate criminal sanctions against top IRGC regime officials already classified by the Government through its recently announced immigration parameters.”
In a CBC article dated Oct. 7, 2022, Freeland was quoted as saying: “The IRGC is a terrorist organization. Today, by listing the IRGC under (Canadian immigration legislation) and indeed by listing the broader leadership of the Iranian regime, we are formally recognizing that fact and acting accordingly.”
“The IRGC is a proven destructive entity that terrorizes Jews, Israelis, Canadians, Iranians and so many others worldwide,” Mostyn said. “Iran is the No. 1 exporter of terrorism on the planet. The Government’s recent public recognition of IRGC terrorism is a significant step in the right direction. However, a more broad and legally consistent approach is necessary, one that requires criminal sanctions to match.”
Mostyn and B’nai Brith Senior Legal Counsel David Matas say that criminal sanctions against IRGC leaders are essential.
“Criminal sanctions are highly important,” Matas said. “Not everyone in the IRGC needs to be treated as a terrorist but, certainly, the Government must take concrete and consistent action against the leaders.”
The IRGC is responsible for numerous terrorist acts against civilians, including the downing of Flight PS 752, in which 176 innocent people were murdered. The 176 included 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents. Other terrorist acts with IRGC involvement include the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Argentina, which killed 85 people and injured over 300, and a 2012 bombing of a Bulgarian bus carrying Israeli tourists, killing five of them and the Bulgarian bus driver, and injuring 32. The IRGC also is the leading state‑sponsor of terrorism; it provides ongoing support to Hamas and Hezbollah, both designated terrorist entities in Canada and elsewhere.
The United Kingdom is reportedly preparing to formally declare the IRGC as a terrorist organization. The legal change would mean it becomes a criminal offence in the UK to belong to the group or support its activities.