Canada preens itself on UN resolution, Iran bristles

November 23rd, 2008 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 23 (IANS) Though Teheran has denounced it for sponsoring a UN resolution highlighting its human rights record, Canada says the move sends a strong message of support to the victims of state-sponsored brutalities in Iran. Sponsored by Canada and backed by 41 other nations, the resolution was passed Friday by 70 votes to 51, with 60 countries abstaining.

The resolution urges Teheran to stop the execution of juveniles, stoning and amputation, discrimination against cultural, religious and linguistic minorities, censorship, and harassment of human rights defenders and women’s rights activists.

Foreign minister Lawrence Cannon said the adoption of the resolution is “a clear signal of the international community’s concern for the human rights of people in Iran.”

He said the resolution sends a message of hope to the victims of state-sponsored brutality and to the human rights defenders who seek to effect positive change in Iran, while it calls on the country’s regime to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice.

“With this resolution, and those presented in previous years, international attention has been drawn to the flagrant human rights abuses in Iran,” the minister said.

Calling on Iran to take steps to stop the violation of human rights, Cannon said: “We will continue to promote Canadian values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, on the world stage. All Canadians can be proud of Canada’s principled foreign policy.”

The foreign affairs office in Ottawa said the passing of the resolution showed that Canada “continues its leadership in the world.”

As in previous years, it said, the Iranian delegation attempted to use procedural manoeuvres to block the committee from considering the resolution on its merits.

However, Iran has denounced Ottawa for sponsoring the resolution, saying Canada, “by designing and sponsoring an anti-Iranian human rights resolution, is once again demonstrating its enmity toward the nation of Iran.”

Iran’s IRNA news agency said before the resolution was passed, that the Canadian government’s current approach would deprive it of the chance to take advantage of equal and fair relations with Iran.

“Canada’s hostile action toward the Islamic Republic of Iran is deserving of an appropriate response”, it said.

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