The government of Canada has imposed sanctions on a wide range of Iranian institutions and persons, including the 24-hour English-language Press TV, over alleged “rights violations” following the recent foreign-backed riots in the country.
Protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station on September 16 and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, erupted first in her native province of Kordestan and later spread to other parts of the country, including Tehran.
The protests soon turned into violent riots, with rioters going on the rampage across the country, attacking security officers, resorting to vandalism against public property, and desecrating religious sanctities.
According to a statement released by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry on Friday, the rioters have been backed by Western regimes and their mercenary media, who disseminated misinformation and distorted the sequence of events that led to Amini’s death even before the official investigation into the incident concludes.
The Canadian government announced the new sanctions in a Monday statement, claiming they were in response to “human rights violations” committed in Iran.
These new measures come in addition to Canada's existing sanctions against Iran. They listed 25 individuals and 9 entities, including officials in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence.
Iran's 24-hour English-speaking Press TV, which has played a pivotal role during the past two weeks in reporting the riots and their background support base through various news items and articles, is on the list of the Canadian government’s sanctions.
Among the institutions sanctioned by Ottawa also are the Basij Force, which played a key role in terminating the riots, the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri; the chief commander of the IRGC, Hossein Salami; secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani; Iran’s Majlis speaker, Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf; Iran’s Interior Minister Ahamd Vahidi; and commander of the IRGC's Quds Force, Esmail Qa'ani.
Prior to Monday's measures, Canada had imposed sanctions on a total of 41 Iranian individuals and 161 Iranian entities.
Speaking in an address to military cadets in Tehran on Monday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the unrest that erupted in some parts of Iran following Amini's death, stating that the deadly riots were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.
“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” the Leader said.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi also on Sunday said the enemies have failed to advance their latest conspiracy aimed at blocking the country’s progress, emphasizing that the death of Amini is being thoroughly investigated by the relevant state bodies.
“At a time that the Islamic Republic is weathering economic problems and is more actively present in the region and the world, the enemies entered the arena to isolate the country, but they failed in this conspiracy,” Raeisi said.