(Bloomberg) -- The Canadian government has listed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity, which bars thousands of Iranian officials from entering Canada and makes it a criminal offense to provide financial support to the group.

The IRGC is a branch of Iran’s military that reports directly to the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has long said it was looking at such a move, but had resisted doing so because of concerns it could capture thousands of low-level IRGC officials instead of being targeted at senior members of the regime.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters on Wednesday the government decided to move forward after careful deliberation with its security agencies and lawyers. 

“Our government will ensure that there is no immunity for Iran’s unlawful actions and its support of terrorism,” he said.

The move comes months after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and abducting more than 250. Iran has supported the terrorist group in its war with Israel and conducted its own aerial bombardment of the country on April 13.

Canada’s action also comes more than four years after the IRGC shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after it took off from Tehran. All 176 passengers on board were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

However, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre — Trudeau’s chief rival — accused the government of only making the announcement now because of a key byelection vote next week in a Toronto district where about 10% of the population is Jewish. The riding has been a Liberal stronghold for decades but there is speculation the party could lose the vote given Trudeau’s general unpopularity.

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly warned Canadians not to travel in Iran in the wake of the announcement. She pointed to the fact Canada has not had an embassy in the country since diplomatic ties were cut in 2012.

“With this decision today there is a heightened risk of arbitrary detention in Iran,” Joly said. “So my message is clear for those who are in Iran right now: time to come back home. And for those who are planning to go to Iran, don’t go.”

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