U.S. President Barack Obama.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House, Washington, March 1, 2013. Photo by Reuters
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The United States on Saturday urged Tehran to "heed the will of the Iranian people" after Iranians elected moderate cleric Hassan Rohani to be their country's next president.

"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.

"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 United States remained ready to engage the Iranian government directly to reach a diplomatic solution to address concerns from the international community about its nuclear program, the White House said.

Earlier Saturday, the Israeli government dismissed the Iranian election outcome, stressing that the Iranian president has no say on Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

"The President elect in Iran had been shortlisted by the Ayatollah Khamenei, who has disqualified and removed candidates who did not conform to his extremist views," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement.

He noted that until now, Ayatollah Khamenei has been making the decisions on the Iranian nuclear program, not the Iranian president.

"After the elections, Iran will continue to be judged by its actions, in the nuclear sphere as well as on the issue of terror. Iran must abide by the demands of the international community to stop its nuclear program and cease the dissemination of terror throughout the world."