Mon, Jun 17, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Iran’s president-elect hails victory over extremism

‘BEACON OF HOPE’:Reactions to Hassan Rowhani’s victory were mixed, with the US expressing congratulations, Israel urging caution and Hezbollah revelling in the win

Reuters and AFP, DUBAI and Tehran

He told state news agency IRNA, “the country’s problems won’t be solved overnight and this needs to happen gradually and with consultation with experts,” but added that there was a new chance “in the international arena” for “those who truly respect democracy and cooperation and free negotiation.”

The US said it stood ready to engage with Iran to reach a “diplomatic solution” over its nuclear program, even though, like Israel, it has refused to rule out military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.

“We respect the vote of the Iranian people and congratulate them for their participation in the political process and their courage in making their voices heard,” the White House said in a statement.

Celebrating crowds sprang up across Tehran and other major cities as his victory was confirmed.

“Long live reform! Long live Rowhani!” the crowds chanted.

Rowhani is inheriting an economy that has been badly hit by EU and US sanctions.

He has pledged to tackle the problems by taking a more constructive approach with the major powers that might lead to an easing of sanctions.

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