OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says Canada will impose tougher sanctions on Iran as part of an international campaign against that country’s nuclear ambitions.
He says the measures aren’t intended to punish the people of Iran but to send a message to “the aggressive and irresponsible government in Iran.”
The new sanctions will include a ban on any new Canadian investment in Iran’s oil and gas sector or government securities and restrictions on exporting goods that could be used in nuclear programs.
The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful electricity production.
Iranian banks will also will be barred from opening branches in Canada and Canadian banks will not be able to set up operations in Iran.
The European Union has announced a new round of sanctions to curb oil investment and cut exports of “dual-use” goods that could be employed by the nuclear industry.
Cannon says Tehran has flouted United Nations efforts to rein in its nuclear program.
“The acts of Iran and the aggressive talk are an affront to Canada’s standards and its desire to maintain nuclear safety.”
He rejected Iran’s claims about peaceful power production.
“The actions of Iran are bringing it closer and closer to producing nuclear weapons which pose a threat,” he said.
Last month, Iran announced it had produced 20 kilograms of enriched uranium.
Cannon said the international community is united on the need to curb Iran’s nuclear efforts.
“No state can threaten international peace and security without consequences.”