Friday, June 23, 2006

US Assails Iran's Choice Of Delegate To UN Rights Body

Dow Jones Newswires:
The State Department said Friday that Iran showed a lack of concern for basic human rights by appointing a known rights violator to its delegation at a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Spokesman Tom Casey said the U.S. joins Canada in deploring the appointment of Tehran general prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi as a participant in Iran's observer delegation at the council meeting in Geneva.

He said Mortazavi was responsible for the illegal arrest and detention of a Canadian journalist and was behind a crackdown on the Iranian media.

"We think his presence demonstrates Iran's lack of concern for some of the basic human rights that we believe the council ought to be there to defend," Casey said. READ MORE

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki used the council meeting on Thursday to take aim at the U.S. rights record, including abusive treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He also said the U.S. was responsible for the deaths of "thousands of innocent people in illegitimate and unlawful wars."