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Thursday, April 1, 1999 Published at 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK

World: Middle East

UN praise over Iranian human rights

The United Nations human rights investigator for Iran has said the Iranian government is making progress towards building a more tolerant society which recognises human rights.

But he said Iran should remain under special scrutiny by the UN Human Rights Commission for at least another year because the improvements aren't big enough.

The investigator Maurice Copithorne cited the murders of prominent dissident writers at the end of last year as an example of unanswered questions about the regime.

He urged the Iranian government to speed up the prosecutions of those suspected of the murders. He praised the efforts of the Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, but said it could take years to achieve even his minimum reformist goals.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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