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Iran's Ahmadinejad To Have Government Of Moderation

Ahmadinejad after voting on 24 June 26 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian President-elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad said at his first news conference today that his government will be one of "peace and moderation."

Ahmadinejad, regarded as an Islamic hard-liner, said today that co-existence will be a priority in Iran's foreign policy. He said no extremism would be acceptable in popular government.

But Ahmadinejad also said the Islamic republic "does not really need" to restore relations with the United States, cut off a quarter of a century ago.

"We would like to develop relations based on justice and mutual respect with all countries and nations," Ahmadinejad said. "The policy of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] regarding the United States has been announced many times. Our nation today is moving on the path to progress and elevation by believing in itself. And on this path, there is no significant need for [relations with] the United States."

The United States believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, something which Tehran denies. U.S. officials have expressed dismay at Ahmadinejad's election.

Ahmadinejad said Iran needs nuclear technology for energy purposes, and will continue with its peaceful program. But at the same time, he said Tehran will continue nuclear talks with the European Union.

(compiled from wire reports)

See also:

Iran Says New President Won't Change Foreign Policy

Iran: A New Paradigm And New Math

For RFE/RL's full coverage of Iran's elections, see "Iran Votes 2005"