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Cablegate: Austria to Press Iran On Human Rights Review

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVI #0117 0321503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011503Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4093
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1452
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0347

UNCLAS VIENNA 000117

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL IR AU
SUBJECT: AUSTRIA TO PRESS IRAN ON HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW

REF: STATE 7242

1. Econpoloff discussed reftel points January 29 with Gerlinde
Paschinger, MFA Human Rights Unit Chief of Minority Rights, Thomas
Unger, from the Human Rights division of the MFA Office of the Legal
Advisor, and Gerrit Ach, MFA Human Rights Desk Officer. Paschinger
said the MFA had called in the Iranian Ambassador the previous
week as part of an EU-wide demarche on human rights in Iran. MFA
officials at the meeting raised concerns over the persecution of the
Baha'i, abuse of young women, and Iran's obligation to protect
defenders of human rights. Austria has yet to formulate its
intervention on Iran's Universal Periodic Review (UPR), but will
likely continue to press Iran on human rights, either as part of an
EU effort or bilaterally, Paschinger said. Austria was also
supportive of U.S. efforts in Geneva. Paschinger said Austria was
particularly interested in pressing Iran to accept a visit from UN
Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak, who is also the
Director of the Vienna-based Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights.


2. Unger said Austria planned to use Canada's resolution on Iran
passed through the UNGA Third Committee as a start for its dialogue.
However, Unger suggested that Austria would prefer to support a
resolution on Iran that passed with broad-based geographical
support.

3. As an aside, Unger noted that since the Human Rights Council
(HRC) was relatively new and up for review in 2011, the GOA was
interested in knowing the USG's plans regarding the HRC review.
(Note: Austria will run for the HRC in 2011.)

EACHO

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