AFP: Canada on Friday introduced a draft resolution at the UN General Assembly on what it maintains is the worsening human rights situation in Iran, a foreign ministry statement said. The text follows an earlier resolution on human rights violations by Iran, adopted by the United Nations and sponsored by Canada, in November of last year. AFP

OTTAWA - Canada on Friday introduced a draft resolution at the UN General Assembly on what it maintains is the worsening human rights situation in Iran, a foreign ministry statement said.

The text follows an earlier resolution on human rights violations by Iran, adopted by the United Nations and sponsored by Canada, in November of last year.

According to Ottawa, 33 countries cosponsored this draft resolution.

"Canada's assessment is that the human rights situation in Iran has worsened during the last year, a position shared by many members of the international community" stated Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew.

"We believe that Iran needs to hear from the global community that change is necessary. Our objective remains to promote and accelerate positive change for the human rights of the Iranian people," Pettigrew added.

Relations between Ottawa and Tehran have taken a marked turn for the worse since the death of Iranian-Candian photographer Zahra Kazemi, in July 2003. The Montrealer, 54, was beaten to death in detention days after she was detained while photographing Evin prison in Tehran.

Iranian intelligence ministry agent, Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, 42, was cleared of "quasi-intentional murder" in July, and the judiciary said later Kazemi's death seemed to have been accidental as "the only suspect" had been found not guilty.

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