TEHRAN – Iran has slammed Canada’s fresh sanctions on Iranian media news outlets, saying the move is in violation of people’s basic rights and exposes the West’s empty rhetoric regarding free access to information and freedom of expression.
“The U.S. government’s sanctions lunacy has turned into a virus that is rapidly spreading to its friends,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a post on his Instagram account.
Canada on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and four entities over alleged human rights violations in the country and continued actions to destabilize regional peace and security.
The newly sanctioned individuals and entities include Iranian military figures, the Constitutional Council, and the Assembly of Experts.
Kanaani said the list also includes Keyhan newspaper, Tasnim news agency, Nour News and Fars news agency, as well as the current and former heads of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting along with an IRIB reporter.
He said it is not the first time Canada has sanctioned prominent Iranian media outlets and journalists, pointing to its recent sanctions on Press TV.
The Iranian spokesperson said Canada and its anti-Iranian Western allies have targeted Iranian people with economic sanctions while depriving them of the right to express their opinions, “unless they speak like them and in their cultural language, such as ‘Iran International’, ‘Manoto,’ and other channels”.
“Resorting to force and sanctions to prevent the voice of others from being heard by a country whose human rights claims have deafened the world is not so surprising,” Kanaani added.
He said Canada tends to show its apartheid behaviors occasionally, a proof of which, he said, is the discovery of mass graves of indigenous children in that country.
But Ottawa has now launched a “media apartheid,” he said.
“When slogans are unmasked and logic becomes weak, there is
no option but to resort to force and sanction. Sanction has become the international language of the U.S. and its allies,” the spokesperson said.
Canada has so far imposed three packages of sanctions against Iran over alleged “gross and systematic human rights violations” during the nationwide riots that followed the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in hospital three days after collapsing at a police station last month.