Iran reformist: Give new President Rowhani time

Thursday - 6/20/2013, 9:49am EDT

In this photo released by the official website of the Iranian presidency office, outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, and President-elect Hasan Rowhani, right, make their way during their meeting at Rowhani's office in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Presidency Office, Ebrahim Seyyedi)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's key reformist is urging supporters of the country's newly elected president to have patience as Hasan Rowhani takes the helm and tackles the country's sanctions-battered economy and tensions with the West.

Mohammad Khatami's appeal came during a meeting Thursday with a group of Iranian students. The semiofficial ISNA news agency quotes Khatami as urging Rowhani's backers not to expect "miracles."

Khatami preceded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president and is considered a key Iranian reformist.

Iran's president cannot set policy on major decisions such as the nuclear program, but can influence views by the ruling clerics.

Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator, is considered a relative moderate, but also has deep ties to Iran's Islamic establishment. He says he favors international outreach and efforts to ease sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.


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