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UN gives Iran human rights investigator second year


The United Nations renewed the mandate of its human rights investigator for Iran on Thursday, but Russia and China voted against the resolution that expressed "serious concerns" about a country said to have the highest per capita execution rate in the world.

As Western nations tighten sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, Thursday's vote at the U.N. Human Rights Council added to the pressure by extending the one-year term of the investigator who has been denied entry by Tehran.

Just as they opposed the economically crushing U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran and twice vetoed Security Council resolutions against Syria, Russia and China were among the five countries that voted against the human rights resolution that was backed by 22 countries with 20 abstentions.

The vote means that former Maldives Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed retains for another year the role of looking into human rights in the Islamic Republic.

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