February 24, 2020

Canadian Jewish Group Urges Government to Label Iranian Guard Corps as Terrorists

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JANUARY 05: People hold posters showing the portrait of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Major General Qassem Soleimani and chant slogans during a protest outside the U.S. Consulate on January 05, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed by a U.S. drone strike outside the Baghdad Airport on January 3. Since the incident, tensions have risen across the Middle East. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

On January 13, B’nai Brith Canada called on the Canadian government to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

The Canadian Jewish group’s CEO, Michael Mostyn, said at a press conference, “Our government is now on notice. We are asking for the IRGC to be designated as a terrorist group in Canada within the next 30 days. No further delays will be accepted by Canadians on this important public safety issue.”

He also pointed out the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion in June 2018 calling for the Canadian government to designate the IRGC as a terror group; the government has not followed through on the motion.

“Why has this designation not yet occurred when it is the clearly expressed will of Parliament?” Mostyn asked.

B’nai Brith Canada’s national senior legal counsel, David Matas, pointed out the Canadian government currently has the Quds Force – an arm of the IRGC – labeled as a terror organization, but not the IRGC as a whole.

“Canada has rightly rejected that approach when it comes to other terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas,” Matas said. “Any funds sent to the IRGC from Canada – which remains legal today – could be used to assist the Quds Force in carrying out acts of terrorism.”

The Iranian government admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian plane on January 8, killing 176 people. Fifty-six of the victims were Canadians. Iran is claiming the downing of the plane was accidental. Matas argued that designating the entire IRGC as a terror organization would allow Canadians who lost family members to sue the Iranian government for compensation.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on January 12 he was infuriated over Iran’s downing of the plane. He added he would consider designating the entire IRGC as a terror group.