UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran has withdrawn its bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council amid growing criticism of what one advocacy group said on Friday was Tehran’s “appalling human rights record.”
U.N. diplomats told Reuters that Iran had informed other Asian delegations that it withdrew its candidacy for a seat on the 47-nation council based in Geneva that is responsible for monitoring rights around the globe.
One Western diplomat said that Tehran had pulled out after it became apparent that it might not secure enough votes to win a seat, which would have embarrassed Iran when council elections take place next month.
Iran told the so-called Asia group of U.N. states that it was dropping out “in the interest of solidarity with the rest of the group,” the diplomat said.
Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director for the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch, said that “mounting global opposition has forced them out of the race.”
Hicks welcomed what she described as a clear condemnation of Iran’s “appalling human rights record.”