Canada freezes assets of five Iranians over alleged plot
OTTAWA — Following in the footsteps of the United States and Britain, Canada has frozen the assets of five Iranian nationals accused by Washington of plotting to kill a Saudi ambassador, officials said Tuesday.
“In response to credible allegations of the Iranian regime’s involvement in an assassination plot last week, Canada is imposing new sanctions on five Iranian nationals believed to be complicit in its planning,” Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement.
The measures place travel restrictions on the five and ban any Canadian individual or entity from having financial dealings with them.
Baird went on to accuse the Iranian regime of “regularly ignoring their obligations under international law” and threatening global peace and security.
“They obfuscate Iran’s nuclear activities and they block international attempts to verify the country’s claims. They do so while continuing to violate the human rights of Iranian citizens and undermining regional security,” he said.
“This foiled plot is yet more proof of the threat posed by the current Iranian regime. Canada will continue to work with its international partners to pressure the regime to change its dangerous ways.”
Those affected by the Canadian freeze include Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, an Iranian used-car salesman who is a naturalized US citizen living in Texas and was arrested in the United States last week over the plot, the statement said.
Another is high-ranking Revolutionary Guard official Gholam Shakuri, 47, also charged over the plot but who is believed to be in Iran.
Qasem Soleimani, Hamed Abdollahi and Abdul Reza Shahlai, who US officials said were senior officers in Iran’s elite special operations Quds Force involved in the plot, have also had their assets frozen, the government said.
US authorities froze the assets of the same five individuals one week ago, and Britain also followed suit earlier Tuesday.
Authorities in the United States say the plot involved Arbabsiar allegedly trying to contract a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir, possibly through the bombing of a Washington restaurant.
Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement and claimed the allegations are politically motivated.