On January 9, 2023, Canada announced further amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations (the “Regulations”) in response to those who “systematically violate human rights and spread the Iranian regime’s propaganda and misinformation”. These amendments list an additional two individuals and three entities under Schedule 1 of the Regulations and entered into force on January 6, 2023. Unlike past announcements, the government’s News Release provides particulars describing each newly designated individual and entity.

There are now over 290 parties listed under Schedule 1 of the Regulations. Among the newly listed parties are senior Iranian officials and government entities that continue to “crack down on demonstrations and deploy propaganda that serves as a pretext for [the Iranian regime’s] destabilizing activities both domestically and abroad”.

Generally speaking, listing under Schedule 1 of the Regulations imposes a dealings prohibition, effectively an asset freeze, against the listed person. Any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada cannot:

  • deal in any property, wherever situated, that is owned, held or controlled by a person whose name is listed in Schedule 1 or a person acting on behalf of such listed person;
  • enter into or facilitate, directly or indirectly, any transaction related to such a dealing;
  • provide any financial or other related services in respect of such a dealing;
  • make available any goods, wherever situated, to a person listed in Schedule 1 or to a person acting on their behalf; or
  • provide any financial or related service to, or for the benefit of, a person listed in Schedule 1.

The Government of Canada has now issued eight sets of amending regulations since the beginning of October 2022.  Businesses should continually assess their sanctions compliance in this shifting legal landscape. Regulations enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act obligate persons in Canada and Canadian citizens to disclose certain property held by Schedule 1 entities and any related transactional information to the RCMP. Additionally, certain entities have a continuing duty to determine and disclose certain property held by Schedule 1 entities.

An unofficial copy of the amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations that came into effect on January 6, 2023 are available here.


Julia Webster is a disputes and international trade lawyer. She advises companies on trade remedies, free trade agreements, blocking measures, customs compliance, anti-corruption laws, economic sanctions, AML compliance, supply chain ethics, and cross-border M&A.