Lawmakers Push Canada To Designate Iranian Guard Corps as Terrorist Group

Trudeau government has avoided terror sanctions on Tehran's terror force

Justin Trudeau (Reuters/Mike Segar/File Photo)
December 13, 2023

A bipartisan coalition in Congress is pressuring Canada to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, with the lawmakers warning that "neither engagement nor concessions will change" Tehran's appetite for destruction.

"By officially designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, Canada can join the United States in once again contributing to the global fight against terrorism, demonstrating a strong commitment to ensuring peace and stability," the group of 14 House lawmakers wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "It is vital that Canada recognizes the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and takes all appropriate steps to address it."

While Canada maintains some sanctions on the Iranian regime, its government has avoided formally designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization, likely to avoid upsetting the country's diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic. But in the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, which was funded and supported by Iran, Canada must move forward with more robust sanctions that include a terror designation on the IRGC, which has been known to operate in the country, the lawmakers say.

"In both words and deeds, the IRGC as an entity is ideologically committed to destroying Israel and undermining U.S.-Canadian security interests in the Middle East and around the world," the lawmakers, led by Reps. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) and Jared Moskowitz (D., Fla.), wrote. "The IRGC means what it says, and neither engagement nor concessions will change this underlying reality."

Canada's border services agency recently barred entry to around 10,000 known IRGC members as international pressure mounts on Tehran's terror arm, which works with jihadist groups across the Middle East to attack Israel and American coalition forces in the region.

Canadian authorities have also opened investigations "into the status of several individuals already residing in Canada who may have concerning ties to the regime in Iran," according to the U.S. lawmakers.

Trudeau recently dodged questions about whether he will designate the IRGC in the wake of Tehran's support for Hamas's war on Israel.

Canada's Senate earlier this year passed a nonbinding resolution calling for a designation on the Iranian paramilitary force, but the country has not taken formal action.

"These efforts," the lawmakers say, "embody a growing consensus among political leaders in Canada and around the world regarding the threat posed by the IRGC and its role in promoting and supporting terrorism."

Canada cannot fully combat Iran's malign activities across the globe without designating the IRGC as a terror outfit, according to the U.S. lawmakers.

"It is in this spirit of strong and continued cooperation that we ask you to build on Canada's existing designation of the IRGC Quds Force by finally designating the IRGC in its entirety as a terrorist organization," they wrote.