UN Rights Resolution "Iranophobia"

UN Rights Resolution "Iranophobia"UN Rights Resolution "Iranophobia"

A senior diplomat dismissed as "Iranophobia" a resolution by the UN General Assembly's Human Rights Committee on Thursday criticizing Iran for alleged crackdown on activists, journalists and dissidents, and its increased use of the death penalty.

The non-binding resolution, which was drafted by Canada, was adopted by the 193-nation assembly's Third Committee with 76 votes in favor, 35 against and 68 abstentions, Reuters reported.

The resolution was not entirely critical. It also welcomed pledges by President Hassan Rouhani on "important human rights issues, particularly on eliminating discrimination against women and members of ethnic minorities, and on greater space for freedom of expression and opinion."

However, the committee voiced concern over what it described as the "alarming high frequency" of the death penalty in Iran, which the judiciary says is mostly used for major drug-related crimes.

Gholamhossein Dehqani, the deputy ambassador to the United Nations, slammed the resolution as a "selective and politicized distortion of facts" reflective of "nothing but baseless and pure speculation and hearsay and... Iranophobia."

He had sharp words for Canada, saying it "stubbornly continued a deliberate policy of incitement" toward Iran.

The United States and European countries were among the resolution's co-sponsors. Among the countries that voted against it were Tehran's allies—Russia, China and Syria.

The resolution urged Tehran to improve conditions in Iranian prisons. It demanded that Iran end what it said were "widespread and serious restrictions, in law and in practice, on the right to freedom of expression, opinion, association and peaceful assembly" of dissidents and human rights, women's and minority activists.

The resolution will go to a new vote at a General Assembly plenary session next month.