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Iran President-elect Rowhani says election marks "new era"


Iran's President-elect Hasan Rowhani said Monday that the country's just-ended presidential election marks the "ushering in of a new era" and promised to mend international ties and rebuild the nation's economy, which has been hard hit by international sanctions.

Meeting the press for the first time after a landslide victory in Friday's presidential poll, Rowhani said he will pursue a "constructive relationship" with the international community.

Rowhani, 64, a moderate cleric, called for "moderation and prudence" and promised to reduce tension with the West, which has pressured Iran to scrap its suspected nuclear weapons program.

On his country's nuclear program, he said he is ready to increase transparency.

Commenting on the nation's economic hardships, Rowhani said, "Your government will act to salvage the country's economy."

Rowhani promised that his government, expected to be formed in about 40 days, will consult with the opinions of experts and the people in making decisions.

A former nuclear negotiator, Rowhani stressed during the presidential campaign the importance of moderation and prudence.

Iran has been locked in a dispute with the United States and its European allies over its nuclear program.

Rowhani's victory raises the possibility of a change in Iran's diplomacy and a possible compromise in negotiations on its nuclear program.

Iran has been subject to stiff economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its European allies. Rowhani has blamed outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hard-line policy for bringing hardship to the nation as a result of international sanctions.

Rowhani resigned as the country's top nuclear negotiator and head of the Supreme National Security Council shortly after Ahmadinejad won the 2005 presidential election.

Rowhani won 50.7 percent of the popular vote in the presidential election, garnering 18.61 million votes, while Tehran Mayor Mahammad Bagher Qalibaf, the runner-up, secured 6.07 million votes.

In a message posted on a social network, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, told the nation's voters that the presidential election represented a "confidence vote" for the Iranian political system whichever candidate was chosen.