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UN calls for Iran prisoner release

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A U.N. committee says Iran should release political prisoners arrested during protests over the country's disputed presidential election in June.

The General Assembly's Human Rights Committee issued a non-binding resolution Friday blasting Iran's crackdown on protesters, as well as repeating its ongoing criticism of Tehran's use of torture and its rising numbers of executions, the BBC reported.

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The resolution reportedly urged Iran to abandon its policy of persecuting political opponents and called for the release of those imprisoned for their political views.

"The United States welcomes the resolution passed today by the United Nations calling upon the government of Iran to respect its human rights obligations fully," U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement. "This resolution demonstrates that the international community is deeply concerned over the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and the government's failure to uphold its obligations under its own constitution and international human rights law."

The text was approved by the committee by a 74-48 margin, with 59 abstentions, which the U.S. officials called "the largest vote margin on such a resolution on Iran in the (United Nations) ever," the British broadcaster said.

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