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Iranian community applauds move to add IRGC to terrorist list

Candles light the pictures of nine people with ties to Winnipeg who were killed in a plane crash near Tehran Jan. 8 during a vigil at the U of M Jan. 10, 2020. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg) Candles light the pictures of nine people with ties to Winnipeg who were killed in a plane crash near Tehran Jan. 8 during a vigil at the U of M Jan. 10, 2020. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)
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Members of Manitoba's Iranian community are glad to see Canada's decision to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to its terrorist list.

On Wednesday, the federal government announced the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran will be listed as a terrorist group.

"We have been waiting for this moment for the past four years," Iranian community member Kourosh Doustshenas said.

On Jan. 8, 2020, Flight 752 from Iran to Ukraine was shot down over Tehran by the IRGC. That day, 176 people were killed, including nine Manitobans. Doustshenas' fiancé, Forough Khadem, was one of them.

Since then, Doustshenas has been advocating for the IRGC to be considered a terrorist group by Canada.

"IRGC has been acting violently and illegally all over the world since its inception in 1979, after the revolution in Iran," said Doustchenas. "IRGC is not a national armed force of Iran; IRGC's only goal is to support the existing regime in Iran."

Doustshenas says he wants IRGC taken to the International Court of Justice.

Arian Arianpour, president of the Iranian Community of Manitoba, says the designation is a step in the right direction.

"The moment that the free world, the international community, understands that, acknowledges that, they are dealing with a regime that does not abide by any rules or laws, that would be the time where the people of Iran see the support and can finish the job," Arianpour said.

Arianpour says adding the IRGC to the list could mean sanctions, but wants more done to support Iranians. He's hopeful Canada and other governments will take further action, including not allowing IRCG ambassadors in the country.

Arianpour says the next step is to support the women, life, freedom revolution in Iran. That movement calls for the end of the compulsory hijab laws and other forms of oppression against women in the country.

With files from CTV's Danton Unger

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