Iranian president Hassan Rouhani waves to supporters as his motorcade leaves Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on September 28, 2013
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani waves to supporters as his motorcade leaves Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on September 28, 2013 © Atta Kenare - AFP/File
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani waves to supporters as his motorcade leaves Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on September 28, 2013
AFP
Last updated: November 20, 2013

Iran rejects UN resolution on its human rights record

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Iran's foreign ministry on Wednesday rejected as politically motivated a United Nations resolution which expresses "deep concern" over the Islamic republic's human rights record.

The Canadian-drafted UN resolution on Tuesday criticised abuses, the widespread use of the death penalty, particularly for minors, and amputations and flogging as a punishment in Iran.

But it also welcomed pledges made by President Hassan Rouhani for relaxing some freedoms at home, including eliminating discrimination against women and freedom of expression.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the resolution had made "brief references" to developments in Iran since Rouhani took office in August, but that it had generally made "false" accusations.

"Iran condemns the use of human rights issue as a political tool... and strongly rejects the resolution and its content," she said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

The resolution -- which condemned the "systematic targeting and harassment of human rights defenders" and scolded gender inequality -- came three months after Rouhani took office and the subsequent release of dozens of political prisoners.

But many more remain behind bars or under house arrest, including figures rounded up in the aftermath of massive street protests sparked by a disputed presidential election in 2009.

Iran has one of the world's highest execution rates, with more than 500 cases last year and almost the same number so far this year, according to human rights watchdogs.

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