UN committee condemns Syria, Iran for rampant rights abuses
* Iran, Syria reject criticism of their human rights records
* Resolution on Syria focused mostly on government
* Votes show decreased support for Iran and Syria at UN
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A U.N. General Assembly committee on Tuesday condemned Syria and Iran for widespread human rights abuses, but both Damascus and Tehran dismissed the separate votes as politically motivated.
The draft resolution on Syria, which was co-sponsored by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain, France and other Arab and Western states, received 132 votes in favor - 10 more than a similar resolution last year received - along with 12 against and 35 abstentions.
The resolution on Iran, which was drafted by Canada and co-sponsored by other Western countries, received 83 votes in favor, 31 against and 68 abstentions.
The increased number of yes votes for both resolutions shows waning support for Tehran and Damascus in New York, envoys said.
Both resolutions were passed by the 193-nation assembly's Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, and will be put to formal votes next month at plenary sessions of the General Assembly. They are both expected to pass with similar margins. Continued...