AML/ATF Update

      By Terrance S. Carter, Sean S. Carter, and Nancy E. Claridge

June 2024 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on June 27, 2024



Canada Lists the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as Terrorist Entity

On June 19, 2024, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, announced the official listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity under Canada's Criminal Code, effective immediately.

The IRGC is a multi-service primary branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in May 1979 after the Iranian Revolution. Its constitutional mandate includes protecting the integrity of the Islamic Republic by preventing foreign interference, thwarting coups, and suppressing movements seen as threatening the Islamic Revolution's ideological legacy. Canada joins Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the United States in its designation of the group as a terrorist organization.

The decision stems from compelling evidence indicating the IRGC’s direct involvement or facilitation of terrorist activities. This includes acts carried out in association with recognized terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Under the Criminal Code listing, Canadian financial institutions are mandated to freeze any assets linked to the IRGC. It is a criminal offense for individuals, both domestically and internationally, to engage in transactions involving property controlled by designated terrorist groups.

Minister LeBlanc emphasized that the announcement builds on Canada’s longstanding efforts to confront threats posed by the Iranian regime and its affiliates. Notably, previous measures have targeted entities supported by the IRGC, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Taliban. Furthermore, recent designations and sanctions under various legislative frameworks have effectively curtailed the influence and operations of Iranian entities engaged in human rights abuses and threats to global peace.

With the addition of the IRGC to the listed terrorist groups under the Criminal Code, there are now 77 listed entities.

Minister of Public Safety Publishes Guidance on Criminal Code Exceptions when Providing Aid in Areas Controlled by Terrorist Groups

The anti-terrorist financing provisions of Canada's Criminal Code were amended by Bill C-41 on June 20, 2023, allowing humanitarian exceptions and establishing an Authorization Regime for specific activities in terrorist-controlled areas. For nearly a year, charities and non-profits lacked guidance on how to operate under the new law. On June 19, 2024, the Department of Public Safety Canada launched the Authorization Regime and released operational policy guidance to clarify the process for applying under the new exceptions.

For a detailed explanation of the guidance, please see AML/ATF and Charity Law Alert No. 54


Read the June 2024 Charity & NFP Law Update