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The Hamilton Spectator
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Iran's president-elect triggers Western concern
Ultra conservative President- elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked Western fears about Iran's nuclear programme and helped push oil prices over $60 on Monday, but the EU and analysts warned against any hasty judgments.

The former Tehran mayor has adopted a conciliatory stance since his election win on Friday, vowing to press on with the nuclear programme while carrying on talks with the European Union. He says Iran has no real need for ties with Washington.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to build nuclear weapons, and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Sunday Ahmadinejad was "no friend of democracy (and) no friend of freedom". Iran denies the nuclear arms charge.

The EU shares U.S. concerns but the bloc's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he had an open mind about Ahmadinejad, who scored a crushing victory against veteran politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a presidential election run-off on Friday.

"At this point in time I am just in a waiting mood. I think the most important thing is to wait and see how the words are translated into action," said Solana. Source.

June 28, 2005