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Canada announces new sanctions against Iran

OTTAWA (AFP) — Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced more sanctions against Iran Tuesday, ramping up pressure on Tehran to scrap its nuclear program.

"Despite intensive efforts by the international community to engage Iran on its nuclear program, the Iranian regime refuses to comply with its international obligations, cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or enter into meaningful negotiations," Baird said.

And so, he added, "Canada is taking further action against the Iranian regime by expanding sanctions."

He said 98 more people and organizations with ties to the Iranian regime will be subject to an assets freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings, bringing the total number of persons affected by sanctions to 50 and entities to 433.

The move is part of an apparent coordinated effort by Western governments to isolate Iran in the absence of further multilateral UN sanctions.

Western powers have demanded that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, fearing that Tehran would use the material to build a nuclear bomb.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and solely for civilian energy purposes.