Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for bringing this concern to Parliament today, as has the member for Mount Royal.
Canada is deeply concerned by the Iranian government's continued disrespect for the human rights of its citizens, its destabilizing regional role and its nuclear proliferation activities.
I will say quite clearly that Iran clearly knows that Canada is no friend of Iran. We have the largest, strongest sanctions against Iran, going beyond what the Security Council has said.
Most recently, on January 13, we expanded existing sanctions by adding five entities and individuals to our list of designated persons. Prior to that, on November 21, 2001, Canada implemented a number of strong measures against Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act. These expanded sanctions prohibit all financial transactions with Iran or any person in Iran, adding individuals and entities to the list of designated persons and expanding the list of goods prohibited for export.
The member has raised the question of China. As a result of the sanctions that we have put on Iran, there is no direct energy sector relations between Canada and Iran.
Furthermore, all Canadian sanctions against Iran were drafted as broadly as allowed under Canadian law. There is no power in Canadian law to apply sanctions to non-Canadians outside Canada. However, the prohibitions apply to persons in Canada and Canadians abroad, and they apply to financial transactions carried out for the benefit of and on the direction of or order of any person in Iran.
Canada's concern about the nuclear, and not only nuclear activities but also human rights violations has been long-standing. As part of our ongoing efforts to promote respect for human rights in that country, Canada led the adoption of the resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran in the fall of 2011 session of the United Nations General Assembly. This marked the ninth consecutive year Canada led this initiative. The resolution was co-sponsored by 42 member states and supported by 89 in the vote, with only 13 members voting against it. This represented the largest margin of adoption since Canada assumed the lead on this resolution in 2003.
I do join with the member on the opposite side in expressing the concern that she has expressed about the nuclear proliferation by Iran and the threat that Iran poses to the region. We will be working with our international allies, and that includes China as well, to ensure that sanctions are applied and that as much diplomatic pressure is put on Iran as we can.