Peres: Rowhani Victory Proves Iranians Want End to Extremism

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Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday welcomed the victory Iran's new president, Hassan Rowhani, taking a different tune to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's own caution regarding the election results.

While Netanyahu warned the international community not to fool itself into thinking the results would change the status quo and to be vigilant in its pressure over Iran's nuclear program, Peres told news agencies that Rowhani's election was "good news" that proved that the Iranian nation wanted to see the country's policies reformed and an end to the extremism.

The greatest loser in this election was Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei who believed that the Iranian people would heed his choice for the election, Peres said, adding that the results had clearly proven otherwise.

Israel would judge Rowhani only on his actions, Peres added, but added that Jerusalem was optimistic that he was a moderate candidate who wanted to see the Islamic Republic's extremist come to an end.

Peres also said he hoped that Israel's relations with Iran could return to how they had been in the past.

A female supporter of Iranian presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani flashes a victory sign, June 15, 2013.Credit: AP
Shimon PeresCredit: Olivier Fitoussi

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