If you thought about which countries should fill some of the seats on the UN’s Human Rights Council, Syria and Iran probably wouldn’t be the first to come to mind—and rightly so. Unfortunately, however, these two countries are planning to run for the open seats on the council’s 47-member body.

The General Assembly’s annual elections for the United Nations’ 47-nation Geneva-based human rights body will be held later this year in New York. There will be 14 seats available for three-year terms beginning in January 2014.

From the so-called Asia group, which includes the Middle East and Asia, seven countries – China, Iran, Jordan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Vietnam – are vying for four seats, UN diplomats said on condition of anonymity.

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