In a statement on Saturday, the White House said it had “seen the announcement” that Hassan Rowhani, the proclaimed moderate candidate, had won the Iranian presidential election.

“We respect the vote of the Iranian people and congratulate them for their participation in the political process and their courage in making their voices heard,” the statement said. “Despite ... government obstacles and limitations, the Iranian people were determined to act to shape their future.”

The statement went on to say the U.S. was “ready to engage the Iranian government directly” to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also issued a statement saying Rowhani “pledged repeatedly during his campaign to restore and expand freedoms for all Iranians. In the months ahead, he has the opportunity to keep his promises to the Iranian people.” Kerry also repeated the White House’s statement that the U.S. was “ready to engage directly” with Iran.

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