U.S. protests Iran's election to U.N. NGO

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UNITED NATIONS -- U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power has protested the election of repressive regimes including Iran to the U.N. Committee on Non-governmental Organizations which deals with civil society groups accredited to the United Nations.

Iran's U.N. Mission responded Thursday by rejecting "baseless accusations" raised by Power about its human rights record.

Iran was one of 19 members elected Wednesday by the U.N. Economic and Social Council to four-year terms starting Jan. 1. The others were Burundi, Guinea, Mauritania, South Africa, Sudan, China, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Venezuela, Greece, Israel, Turkey and the United States.

Power accused Iran in a statement Wednesday of regularly detaining human rights defenders and "subjecting many to torture, abuse and violations of due process." She called its unopposed candidacy "a particularly troubling outcome" of the election.

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