Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Canada added Iran's Quds Force to a list of terrorist groups on Thursday, saying the elite special operations unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had been arming the Taliban, Hamas and other terror and militia groups.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the Quds Force was responsible for "exporting the Iranian Revolution through activities such as facilitating terrorist operations."
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He accused it of providing "arms, funding and paramilitary training to extremist groups, including the Taliban, Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command" (PFLP-GC).
The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards told a news conference in Tehran in September that members of the Quds Force were present in Syria and Lebanon but insisted they were only there to provide "counsel."
Canada lists 43 entities as terror groups. On Wednesday, it announced it would remove Iran's Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) from its list, following the lead of the United States and the European Union.
The MEK is blamed for the killing Americans in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on US soil in 1992 but now it says it wants to replace Tehran's clerical regime with a secular government through peaceful means.
When Washington announced it was delisting the MEK in September, it noted the group had not engaged in terrorism for more than a decade.
According to Canadian law, any person or group on the country's terror watch list may have their assets seized, and there are criminal penalties for assisting listed entities with the aim of helping them carry out extremist activities.
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