A U.N. committee is urging Iran to cease enforced disappearances and the widespread use of arbitrary detention and has expressed serious concern about severe limitations on freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief.

The General Assembly's human rights committee approved the measure on Tuesday by a vote of 85 in favor, 35 against and 63 countries abstaining.

The measure welcomed pledges by Iran's president to eliminate discrimination against women and ethnic minorities as well granting greater space for freed of expression.

But it also expressed concern over the "alarmingly high frequency" of the death penalty and urged Iran to eliminate laws and practices that constitute human rights violations against women and girls.