US ready to 'directly' engage Iran

Updated: 2013-06-16 05:22


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WASHINGTON - The United States remained ready to "directly" engage the Iranian government in order to solve the stalemate in nuclear talks diplomatically, the White House said in a statement Saturday.

The statement came shortly after Iran's moderate presidential candidate, Hassan Rouhani, won the country's presidential election.

The White House also said in the statement that Washington respects the "vote of the Iranian people", while congratulating them for "their participation in the political process".

"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," said the White House.

"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," the White House said.

The United States has long accused Tehran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, but  Iran has denied the accusation, insisting its nuclear program is meant for civilian purposes only.

The P5+1 countries -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- have held numerous rounds of negotiations with Iran in order to solve the logjam, but so far no major breakthrough has been achieved.

Rouhani, who competed with three conservative candidates and two independents in Iran's 2013 presidential election Saturday, won 18,613,329 of the 36,704,156 votes, accounting for 50.7 percent of all the votes, with a turnout rate of 72.2 percent.