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Briefly: Middle East
TUNIS — The head of a panel organizing Tunisia’s landmark constituent assembly elections told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday that his team is “all ready” for the weekend vote after a trial run in Tunis.
“We are all ready. All the polling stations have received the electoral materials. We will set up in primary schools at 1 p.m. Friday, install everything and use Saturday for a last review of our troops and material,” Kamel Jendoubi said.
Tunisians go to the polls on Sunday to elect the body whose main task will be to write a new constitution. The North African country has been under interim rule since a massive uprising that led in January to the ouster of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled for 23 years.
The army and police will keep order during the vote, which is the first free election for many young Tunisians after decades of dictatorial rule by Mr. Ben Ali and his political party. Members of that toppled regime are not allowed to stand in the current elections.
Official: Charges against Iran are ‘politically motivated’
TEHRAN — Iran on Tuesday lashed out at “politically motivated” Western accusations against Tehran over U.S. plot claims, its human rights record and nuclear activities.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said fresh U.N. accusations of rights abuses in Iran are part of a Western campaign against the Islamic republic after the U.S. assassination plot allegation and increased pressure over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“The nuclear issue and human rights [issue], as well as the newly expressed [U.S. plot] accusations, show that these moves are politically motivated with the sole aim of imposing more pressure on our nation,” he told reporters.
He was responding to a report by a U.N. special rapporteur on Iran’s human rights situation, Ahmed Shaheed, that highlighted the secret executions of more than 300 prisoners, among a raft of other abuses.
The document was obtained by Agence France-Presse and other media ahead of its presentation to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.
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