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US, Britain Criticize Iranian Vote

  • VOA News

The White House says it supports greater freedom for the Iranian people in the wake of a presidential election in which over 1000 candidates were barred from running and there were allegations of election fraud. The White House statement made no direct comment on the landslide victory of hard-line Tehran Mayor Mahmood Ahmadinejad. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said there were "serious deficiencies" in the Iranian vote. He called on the new Iranian leader to address international concerns about Iran's nuclear program and policies toward terrorism, human rights and the Middle East peace process. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called on Iran to provide guarantees that its nuclear program will only be used for peaceful means. He said Berlin expects earlier talks on Iran's nuclear program with European leaders will go forward under the new president. European nations have been seeking an Iranian pledge not to enrich uranium that could be used in nuclear weapons. Iran says it only wants to produce nuclear energy. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad on his victory. He said his country is ready to continue nuclear cooperation with Iran, but opposes any spread of nuclear weapons. The Indonesian government, meanwhile, praised the Iranian people for their support of the democratic electoral process.
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