UNITED NATIONS - The United States on Wednesday sharply criticized the election of Iran to the United Nations' committee on non-governmental organizations, saying it was a "troubling outcome."

The harsh US rebuke of the world body follows Washington's decision to deny entry to Tehran's proposed UN ambassador Hamid Abutalebi over his suspected links to students who held US embassy workers hostage for 444 days in 1979-1981, a move Iran has vowed to fight.

"The unopposed candidacy of Iran, where authorities regularly detain human rights defenders, subjecting many to torture, abuse, and violations of due process, is a particularly troubling outcome of today's election," US Ambassador Samantha Power said in statement.


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