Politics

Opposition parties want IRGC named as terrorist group after attack on Israel

Canada’s main opposition parties say they believe Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) should be named as a terrorist group, days after Iran launched an aerial attack on Israel.

Trudeau has said government is looking into ways to make the designation 'responsibly'

Conservative MP Garnett Genuis says that if the WHO knows a member state is giving it bad data, it should be transparent about it.
Conservative MP Garnett Genuis in the House of Commons. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Days after Iran launched an aerial attack on Israel, Canada's main opposition parties say it's time for the Government of Canada to officially name Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group.

On Monday morning, Conservative MP Garnett Genuis posted on social media that the party would move a motion to immediately list the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

Hours later, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the party believes "the IRGC is a terrorist organization and should be thus named."

A man wearing a suit and a tie speaks at a microphone.
New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters Monday that the party believes the IRGC is a terrorist group and should be named accordingly. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Singh did not say whether his party would vote in favour of the Conservatives' motion. The Bloc Québécois said Monday that it would vote in favour of the motion.

Once a group is placed on Canada's terrorist list — which was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — police can charge anyone who financially or materially supports the group and banks can freeze its assets.

The Liberal government has for years resisted calls to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group and has argued that such a blunt-force approach could affect low-level people who were compelled to serve in the paramilitary force.

On Saturday, Iran attacked Israel with what the Israeli government said was roughly 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. Israel said very few of the weapons made it past the nation's air defence systems.

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel April 14, 2024.
An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel April 14, 2024. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

Iran vowed revenge after an early April airstrike in Syria killed two Iranian generals inside an Iranian consular building. Iran accused Israel of being behind the attack; Israel has not claimed responsibility.

After the Iranian attack, Israel's Ambassador to Canada Iddo Moed called on Ottawa to list the IRGC as a terrorist group under Canadian law. He said no further evidence is needed to justify the designation.

"This is really a wake-up call for all of us. We have to act," Moed said in an interview Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live.

Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly told reporters Monday that Canada condemns the weekend attack by Iran, which she said "only served to destabilize the region" and further escalate tensions in the area.

Joly stopped short of saying the federal government will designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

WATCH: Joly calls for more sanctions on Iranian regime

'We need to go further': Joly calls for more sanctions on Iran's regime

1 month ago
Duration 2:48
Speaking Monday following a thwarted weekend Iranian rocket attack on Israel, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said more sanctions are coming for members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. She stopped short of saying the government will designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Joly said she is pushing Israel to de-escalate the situation, adding she's told her Israeli counterpart to 'please take the win.'

Instead, she said, the federal government has sanctioned key Iranian individuals and "will continue to put maximum pressure against the Iranian regime, which completely disregards peace."

Joly also cited comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in January, when he said the federal government is looking for ways to "responsibly list the IRGC as a terrorist organization."

Following the attack by Iran, Joly said the federal government is pushing for de-escalation.

"That is why I've been clear to my counterpart in Israel — please take the win and make sure that we can work together to bring back peace in the region," she said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benjamin Lopez Steven is a reporter and part-time writer for CBC News Network. He's also a recent journalism graduate from Carleton University. You can reach him at benjamin.steven@cbc.ca or find him on Twitter at @bensteven_s.

With files from Christian Paas-Lang, Mark Gollom