Source: Radio Zamaneh
Iranian authorities have confirmed reports of their withdrawal from membership in United Nation's Human Rights Council and announced their candidacy for the International Commission for Protection of Women's Rights.
Iranian women have been at the forefront of the recent opposition protests.
An injured opposition supporter flashes a V-sign during clashes with security forces
in Tehran on December 27. (Photos: War In Tehran Streets on Ashura Day)
Ramin Mehmanparast, Spokesman for Iran's Foreign
Ministry told IRNA today that following a decision by Asian countries, they have
rescinded their candidacy for membership in the Human Rights Council.
Mehmanparast maintained: "According to an agreement amongst Asian countries, it has been decided that only one country from Asia would nominate itself for membership in the Human Rights Commission."
Iran's candidacy for membership in the Human Rights Council had drawn the criticism of numerous countries and human rights groups and activists. However, Mehmanparast played down the role of such opposition and emphasized that the Islamic Republic has cancelled its bid for the membership in coordination with Asian countries.
Reuters reports that a Western diplomat contends that knowing that that they would not receive the needed votes for membership in the Council, the Islamic Republic has withdrawn its candidacy to save face.
Activists demanding women's rights - Tehran, June 2009 (report)
Ramin Mehmanparast added that having withdrawn
its candidacy for the Human Rights Council, they have nominated themselves for
membership in the International Commission for Protection of Women's Rights.
Last year, Iran was criticized by the UN General Council for its violent crackdown on protesters of the presidential elections who claimed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fraudulently re-elected.
Human rights activists and groups regard Iran's withdrawal from membership in the Human Rights Council a significant victory for human rights and its activists in Iran.
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