06/17/2013, 00.00
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Hopes for a new era in Iran as moderate Rohani wins presidential elections

The new president won with over 50% of the vote. The turnout was 72%. Outcome welcomed by the United States, European Union and Gulf monarchies. The hope is that Rohani will put a definite stop to the nuclear ambitions pursued by his predecessor Ahmadinejad. Israeli government skeptical: "The international community must not indulge in dreams."

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The victory in the Iranian presidential of moderate Hassan Rohani, after eight years of the Ahmadinejad government has received a positive response in the international community, particularly the United States, the West, the UN and the Gulf monarchies.

In an interview with CBS News, Denis McDonough, Chief of Staff of the United States, said that the White House is "ready to work with Hassan Rohani, but only if he complies with the requirements of the United Nations on the interruption of the nuclear program."

Last night, Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, said that with the election of moderate Rohani, the Union is hoping for a quick diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute.

Positive signs also by the UN. Yesterday, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, addressed his "warmest congratulations" to the new Iranian President Hassan Rohani and "will continue to encourage Iran to play a constructive role in regional and international affairs."

The defeat of the conservative fringe opens new collaborations with the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf. On hearing of  Rohani's victory, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the UAE, sent a telegram to Tehran stressing that "our government is ready to work with you, in the interest of regional stability". Messages of congratulations and support also came from Saudi monarch and the Sheikh of Qatar, in recent years the main "enemies" of the Shiite Islamic Republic.

Instead the Israeli government, through Prime Minister Netanyahu, said that "the international community must not indulge in dreams, must not fall into the temptation to ease the pressure on Iran, so that it stops its atomic projects."

Rohani, 64, won with over 50% of the votes in the first round by beating the conservative Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, current mayor of Tehran, who got 16.5% of the votes, overtaking Saeed Jalili, the chief negotiator in nuclear talks, up until last considered the main favorite for the final victory. The turnout was 72%.


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