Madam Speaker, our thoughts continue to be with the families of those who perished in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752. The plane was carrying 176 people when it crashed, and all of those on board were killed, including 57 Canadians.
After initially denying its responsibility, Iran has since admitted that it unintentionally shot down the plane. As the Prime Minister has said, there will be much thought given to the potential consequences in the course of the coming weeks. For now, we are seeking full clarity on the circumstances that led to such a horrific tragedy.
The downing of flight 752 has brought renewed focus to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC. Canada continues to have in place a series of strong measures to hold both Iran and the IRGC accountable.
In June 2019, Canada added three new Iran-backed groups to the list: Al-Ashtar Brigades, Harakat al-Sabireen and Fatemiyoun Division. Iran provides these three groups with substantial resources, including training and weapons to carry out terrorist acts that advance its goals in the region.
The Al-Ashtar Brigades, or AAB, aims to overthrow Bahrain's monarchy and targets Bahraini security forces primarily through the use of improvised explosive devices. Canada is not alone in designating AAB. In 2017, AAB was listed by the U.K., and the U.S. designated it as a foreign terrorist organization in 2018.
Harakat al-Sabireen, or HaS, is an Iranian-backed Shia group that supports the destruction of Israel. HaS was founded and is led by a former leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is itself a listed entity in Canada. Members of HaS fight against Israel alongside Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The U.S. designated HaS in 2018.
Finally, the Fatemiyoun Division, or FD, is supported and trained by the Quds Force and Hizballah. It serves as part of the Iran-backed forces fighting in Syria and has a presence in Afghanistan. FD is also known to have used Afghan children as child soldiers. In January 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the FD for providing material support to Iran's Quds Force.
Canada continues to list the IRGC-Quds Force and a number of terrorist entities that have benefited from the force's patronage, including arms, funding and paramilitary training, and who help advance Iran's interests and foreign policy. These include Hizballah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Taliban.
We have imposed sanctions on Iran and the IRGC, as well as on senior members of its leadership under the Special Economic Measures Act. The regulations explicitly target the IRGC and several sub-organizations, including the IRGC air force and air force missile command. Iran also continues to be designated as a state supporter of terrorism under Canada's State Immunity Act.
The member can be assured that Canada is looking at all possible options to constrain the activities of Iran that threaten national security.