Canada has imposed a fresh round of sanctions against Iran’s energy sector hours after the European Union approved similar unilateral measures.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon told reporters on Monday that the new sanctions include a ban on Canadian investment in Iran’s oil and gas sectors.
Cannon added that Iranian banks would also be targeted by the new measures, which prevents them from opening branches on Canadian soil.
He stressed that the new sanctions are not intended to punish the people of Iran.
However, experts have suggested that the Canadian sanctions cannot affect Iran and are more of a gesture made to show alliance with the US.
“Canada really doesn’t have much influence in the Middle East and particular in Iran,” a Canadian foreign affairs and security expert, Eric Margolis, told CTV News Channel Monday morning.
“This has much to do with Canadian domestic politics as it does with Iran,” he added.
The US and its Western allies accuse Iran of seeking a military nuclear program. Tehran rejects the charges, stressing that as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it will not forgo its right to peaceful nuclear technology.
The US-led sanctions campaign — which began with a UN Security Council resolution on June 9 — has hampered the resumption of the Vienna talks on the nuclear standoff.
Three weeks ahead of the UNSC sanctions votes, Iran, Turkey and Brazil signed a nuclear fuel swap declaration as a response to the a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at easing Western fears.
Under the declaration, Tehran expressed readiness to exchange 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium on Turkish soil with fuel for a medical research reactor.
US President Barack Obama added another bill that cuts off Iran’s access to refined petroleum imports, including gasoline and jet fuel