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US ready to engage Iran 'directly' after election

An Iranian woman celebrates the election of Hassan Rowhani (portrait) in Tehran, on June 15, 2013
An Iranian woman celebrates the election of moderate presidential candidate Hassan Rowhani (portrait) at Vanak Square, in northern Tehran, on June 15, 2013. Following Rowhani's victory the US said it is ready to engage Iran 'directly' over its nuclear pro

The United States said Saturday it is prepared to engage Iran directly over its disputed nuclear program after moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani was declared the country's new president.

The White House said such engagement would be aimed at reaching a "diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program."

The West suspects Iran's nuclear program is aimed at building nuclear weapons, but Iran insists it is for peaceful purposed like generating energy.

The White House said in a statement it respected the will of the Iranian people and congratulated for taking part in the election, praising "their courage in making their voices heard."

Iranians wear purple wrist bands, the campaign color of new president Hassan Rowhani, in Tehran on June 15, 2013
Iranians wear purple wrist bands, the campaign color of moderate presidential candidate Hassan Rowhani, as they celebrate his victory in downtown Tehran, on June 15, 2013.

It said the vote Friday was held amid lack of transparency, censorship of the media, the Internet and text messages, and "an intimidating security environment that limited freedom of expression and assembly."

"However, despite these government obstacles and limitations, the Iranian people were determined to act to shape their future," it added.

"It is our hope that the Iranian government will heed the will of the Iranian people and make responsible choices that create a better future for all Iranians," the statement said.

"The United States remains ready to engage the Iranian government directly in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program," it added.

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