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Iran's re-election to UN commission irks U.S., Canada

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Despite joint efforts made by the United States and Canada to block the extension of Iran's membership in the UN Commission on Population and Development, Iran was re-elected to the commission by majority vote.

The two Western countries tried by diplomatic maneuvers to persuade the member states to vote Iran out of the commission, but an overwhelming majority of members voted in favor of Iran's re-election, IRNA reported.

Iran's diplomatic success drew angry reactions from the U.S. and Canada.

According to AFP, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the United States was "deeply disappointed" that the UN Economic and Social Council voted to extend Iran's membership in the council's Commission on Population and Development.

"We vigorously opposed Iran's last-minute candidacy to extend its current membership, which dates back to 1996," she said in a statement.

"In this forum and elsewhere, Iran has made clear its opposition to women's rights and the freedom for women to make basic choices for themselves," Rice said, claiming, "Iran continues to deprive women of basic human rights."

Canada also expressed great regret about Iran's re-election to the UN commission.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued a statement regarding Iran's re-election saying, "Canada deplores the election of Iran to a seat on the United Nations Commission on Population and Development."

He also claimed, "Canada remains extremely troubled by the outrageous human rights abuses committed by Iran against its own citizens, and by Iran's threats and actions to undermine the safety, security and stability of its neighbors."

"Canada will persist in urging Iran to improve its human rights record, including in the areas of religious freedom and the rights of women," he added.

Before taking a vote on Iran's candidacy, the Iranian deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Es'haq Ale-Habib, criticized the U.S. and Canada for taking hostile approach toward Iran.

Ale-Habib said, "The U.S. and its allies pressure smaller and weaker countries to oppose other countries in the region."

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said he will not respond to the Canadian ambassador's statements because this country is only following the U.S. policies.

... Payvand News - 05/27/11 ... --

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