Canadian-sponsored human rights resolution against Iran passes

Iran failed by one vote on Tuesday to stop a Canadian-sponsored UN resolution condemning Iran's 'ongoing systematic violations of human rights.'

Iran failed by one vote onTuesdayto stop a Canadian-sponsored UN resolutioncondemningIran's "ongoing systematic violations of human rights."

Iran had tried to stop the Canadian draft resolution at the UN General Assembly's human rights committeefrom moving to a formal vote by introducing a"motion of no action."

While 78countries voted in support of the no-action motion, 79 voted against and 24 abstained. Afghanistan voted on side with Iran, against Canada.

The resolution ultimately passed the human rights committeeby a vote of72 to 50, with 55 abstentions.

The resolution expresses its "very serious concern"of the"confirmed instances"of torture, stoning as a method of execution and punishment such as flogging and amputations. The resolution is expected to pass when it reaches the General Assembly in early December.

CanadianAmbassador to the UN John McNeetold the committee that there has been a "continued deterioration"in protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Iranians.

"This assembly must stand up and respond. We must hold the government of Iran accountable for the continued violation of human rights of its citizens."

Followingthe death in 2003 of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who died while in Iranian custody,Canada has sponsored a yearly resolution condemning Iran's human rights record.

Iran ambassadorblasts Canada

Theresolution has easily passed in the previous four years. But CBC's Neil Herland, reporting from UN Headquarters in New York, said it came close to being defeated because Iran has since built support among nations like India, South Africa and Afghanistan.

Herland said those countries have become fed up with being criticized for their human rights policies by the West.

In a fiery speech on Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee blasted Canada, saying it is in no position to lecture Iran about human rights because the country has a history of mistreating its own aboriginal people.

But Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, praised theadoption of the resolution.

"Despite the fact that the resolution covers only a fraction of the crimes committed by the mullahs' regime, it shows clearly that the medieval regime does not have merit to be a part of international community and should be isolated."