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Iran accuses Canada of spying after UN vote

The Iranian regime is seeking retribution for the UN General Assembly's condemnation of its atrocious human rights record (click here for more information) and has launched an astonishing attack on the Canadian government, which sponsored the UN resolution.

The regime has accused the Canadian embassy in Tehran of espionage and has threatened to close down the diplomatic mission. It also tabled a resolution condemning Canada over its treatment of aboriginals and immigrants, which was rejected by a margin of 170-6. Iran only managed to muster the support of some of the world's most notorious human rights abusers - Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Burma and Belarus - indicating its increasingly isolated status. Even its new-found ally Venezuela refused to back the Iranian position.

In an interview with the BBC's Persian Service, Canadian Foreign Office spokesman Rodney Moore claimed that the espionage claims and the attacks on Canada's human rights record were baseless. He said the Iranian claims were retaliation for international condemnation of Iran's treatment of women and ethnic and religious minorities as well as poor standards of justice (click here for the BBC interview). Canada's relations with Iran have been strained since a Canadian photographer, Zahra Kazemi, was tortured to death in Iran's notorious Evin Prison in 2003.

Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS), said: "Ahwazi Arabs and other ethnic groups in Iran can only dream of having the political autonomy and cultural freedom Canada's Innuit enjoy. Canadian federalism is a model for a diverse multi-ethnic society like Iran. It is therefore ironic that Iran is condemning Canada for its treatment of minorities, given Iran's record of systematic abuse of Ahwazi Arabs and other non-Persian ethnic groups which at times has led to ethnic cleansing, particularly in Al-Ahwaz and Balochistan."