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Obama Joins Putin in Optimism of Iran Vote Spurring Talks

U.S. President Barack Obama & Russian President Vladimir Putin
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, holds a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort in Northern Ireland, on June 17, 2013. Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed optimism that the election in Iran may open a new avenue for ending the standoff over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

Obama said he and Putin share “cautious optimism” that the election of Hassan Rohani as president in Iran will jumpstart talks on Iran’s nuclear development efforts.

“With election in Iran we hope there are new opportunities” to resolve the tensions in the region, Putin said through a translator as he and Obama concluded a meeting in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, where they are attending a summit of leaders from the Group of Eight nations.

Rohani, who won a first-round victory in this weekend’s voting, said today he will pursue a policy of moderation to improve Iran’s relations with neighboring countries and beyond. He takes office in August.

Israel and the U.S. contend Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons capability. Both have threatened to attack Iran should other means fail to stop the Islamic republic from trying to obtain nuclear weapons. Iranian officials say the nuclear program is for energy and medical research.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hans Nichols in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland at hnichols2@bloomberg.net; Mike Dorning in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland at mdorning@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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