UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A special U.N. rapporteur says Iran's defiant response to his report on the country's human rights violations fits a pattern of conflicting signals from the Islamic Republic, especially since the election of its new moderate-leaning president.
Ahmeed Shaheed says Iranian officials who have met with him recently have eased away from "denial mode" and acknowledged some human rights problems. He says he is encouraged that Iranian authorities are more openly discussing the impact of international sanctions, which he says are taking a more severe toll.
Yet Shaheed told reporters Thursday that he was not surprised by Iran's adamant rejection of his report, which he presented a day earlier. Shaheed says "it fits with a broad pattern" of hearing positive messages from Iranian officials without seeing "sufficient change on the ground."