Zohreh Elahian (L) and Masoud Dorosti

Canada Sanctions Iranian Officials Over Women’s Repression

Saturday, 03/09/2024

The Canadian government announced on Friday that it would be imposing new sanctions on two Iranian individuals accused of participating in the repression of women.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly made the announcement on the International Women's Day, targeting Masoud Dorosti, the chief executive of Tehran's metro system, and Zohreh Elahian, a conservative parliamentarian.

Dorosti is responsible for enforcing Iran's mandatory hijab law on public transit, and Elahian, a vocal supporter of measures including the death penalty for protesters, have been accused of leveraging their positions to enforce increasingly repressive measures against women and girls in Iran.

“These two individuals have used their positions of influence to call for or carry out increasingly repressive measures against women and girls in Iran,” Joly’s office said.

The move marks Canada's latest effort to respond to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in 2022, who died in police custody after allegedly being arrested for incorrectly wearing her hijab and the subsequent bloody repression of protests in Iran.

So far, Canada has sanctioned 155 individuals and 87 entities connected to human rights abuses in Iran. Those on the sanctions list are barred from entering Canada and conducting business with Canadians.

The Iranian regime continues its policies of punishing women for removal of hijab. Aziz Jafari, former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, announced this week that the government will undertake new measures against hijabless women.

Addressing hijab enforcer agents on Friday, he said, "I regret not being able to accompany you on the field due to physical limitations. The removal of hijab is a major cultural problem for us that can strike at the root of the revolution."

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