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Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:51AM
The UN Security Council (file photo)

The UN Security Council (file photo)

A member of Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has dismissed Canada’s “irrelevant accusations” against Iran, emphasizing that the Iranian nuclear energy program is essentially aimed at producing electricity and energy. Canada’s representative forgot to say that only Israel in the Middle East region has not joined the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and possesses nuclear weapons, Mohammad Ali Mottaqi-Nejad said during a UN Security Council session on Wednesday. He added that the Canadian government fully supports the Israeli regime and its crimes while Tel Aviv has been repeatedly condemned at international circles for its expansionist policies and crimes against the Palestinian people. Earlier on Wednesday, Canadian Ambassador to the UN Guillermo Rishchynski made unfounded allegations against Iran, saying Tehran “poses the greatest threat to international peace and security in the world today.” He claimed that evidence was mounting that Iran’s nuclear program was not exclusively for peaceful purposes and that the country had little genuine interest in allaying the concerns of the international community. The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran argues that as a committed signatory to the NPT and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Mottaqi-Nejad also rejected the Canadian ambassador’s claims about Iran’s “systematic repression of human rights” and said that, unfortunately, the Ottawa government is using the Security Council as a tribune to express its hostility towards the Iranian people. Those countries that claim to be the pioneers of advocating democracy and human rights and are manipulating human rights issues for their politicized and biased goals are suffering from political paranoia. The Iranian official said that contrary to the self-perceptions of those countries and as fully documented by human rights bodies, their own records in human rights are seriously tainted. “Canada is undoubtedly a prime example of such governments.” He said that the human rights of large parts of the Canadian population were systematically denied, regardless of the different ideologies of successive Canadian governments. “It was well known that Canada was failing in its international obligations, failing in its constitutional and legislative framework, failing in the areas of equality and non-discrimination and the right to life and liberty of persons, and failing in the context of minorities and indigenous persons,” Mottaqi-Nejad said. In fact, there seemed to be no area in which Canada had not disgraced itself when it came to upholding human rights, he pointed out. In a report released on December 19, 2012, Amnesty International called on Canada to address human rights abuses in the country, particularly with respect to the rights of indigenous peoples. The London-based rights group said that three mandatory United Nations reviews conducted in 2012 all found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples. The indigenous communities in Canada, also known as the First Nations, have been protesting against poor living conditions and high unemployment rate. Protests have been staged across the North American country after Canadian rights activist Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike on December 11, 2012. Spence later refused to attend a meeting with Prime Minister Harper to talk about the First Nations rights, saying his move was because Governor General David Johnston, who is a representative of Queen Elizabeth II, would not be taking part in it. SF/HJL/MA
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