10/18/2008, 00.00
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Tougher rejection than predicted for Tehran at UN

The regime of the mullahs is clearly disappointed, after presenting itself for a non-permanent seat on security council, as an alternative to "certain powers," but it obtained only 32 votes, against 158 for its rival Japan.

New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Rejection of Iran's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN security council was more decisive yesterday than had been expected. Tehran, which was competing with Tokyo, received only 32 votes, against 158 for Japan.

Iran and Japan were competing for a spot reserved for an Asian country, being vacated by Indonesia. Iran had presented its candidacy in 2007, and had upheld it despite being subjected to sanctions decided by the security council itself, because of Tehran's refusal to stop its program of enriching nuclear material.

In recent days, Iran had presented its candidacy as an expression of resistance to "certain powers." This is what Iran's ambassador to Japan had done, in words emphasized by the semi-official news agency Fars: "If the international community wants to prove that it is not under the influence of certain powers, and to follow a logical politics, it must clear the way for the presence of other countries, like the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the security council."

Tehran's disappointment over the result of the voting is demonstrated by how the official news agency Irna covered the decision of the UN assembly. In reporting the election of Japan, Turkey, Austria, Mexico, and Uganda, Irna adds that "Iran was in competition with Japan, which has already been on the council nine times. The president of the assembly, Miguel d’Escoto of Nicaragua, has announced that Japan won the seat with 158 votes." It fails to report that Tehran received 32 votes, but in continuing with its news from New York, it mentions Iceland's failure to be elected, "receiving only 87 votes."

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