Syria and Iran Want Inclusion in UN Rights Group

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-07_da2f01cc06.jpgiStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. and Israel like to think that attempts by Syria and Iran to join the United Nations Human Rights Council would be laughable if Damascus and Tehran weren't so serious about it. Syria in particular is in the hot seat after accusations by the White House President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons during the 28-month-long conflict against opposition forces.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Rosemary DiCarlo called any inclusion of Syria and Iran in the U.N. group "highly inappropriate" given their track records on human rights abuses.  In 2009, Iran launched a massive crackdown on demonstrations protesting the presidential election that resulted in numerous deaths and arrests.

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, said that allowing Syria and Iran into the 47-member Geneva-based Human Rights Council was akin to "placing a mob boss in charge of the witness protection program."

Hillel Neuer, the head of the advocacy group UN Watch, said "countries that murder and torture their own people must not be allowed to become the world’s judges on human rights."  Neuer predicted the bids by Syria and Iran would fail.

The General Assembly’s annual elections for the Council will be held later this year in New York.

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