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Iran Objects To Naming of UN Rights Investigator

Tehran has criticized a decision by the UN's top human rights body to appoint a special investigator to look into allegations of human rights abuses in Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry says the newly created post is "politically motivated" and meant to divert attention from rights abuses in the United States.

Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the vote by the Geneva-based rights council was a result of "U.S. pressure."

The 47-member council approved the resolution by 22 votes in favor, seven against, and 14 abstentions -- marking the first time in a decade that a new post has been created for a country-specific investigator.

Iran is not a member of the council.

In the past, many of the UN Human Rights Council member states have opposed such posts as an unnecessary intrusion into their internal affairs. But the council has gained fresh legitimacy since last month when it voted for the first time to ostracize one of its members -- Libya -- because of abuses against civilians by the regime of Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi.

A former UN rapporteur on human rights in Iran has suggested in an interview with RFE/RL that his successor faces a daunting challenge.

compiled from agency reports