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Jun 20, 2013 9:48 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Iran reformist: Give new President Rowhani time

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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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