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      Elkin: Iran's Elections Made a Mockery of Democracy

      Iran's new president invented the method of talking to the West while advancing the nuclear program, warns Deputy Foreign Minister.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 6/20/2013, 4:46 AM

      Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin
      Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin
      Flash 90

      The recent elections in Iran are a mockery of democracy, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said on Wednesday.

      "We must remember that the Iranian public elected a leader from a list approved in advance by the spiritual leadership and that any candidate that strayed from their positions even a little bit was disqualified,” said Elkin.

      "This is making a joke of democracy and talking about a fundamental change as a result of the elections is funny,” he added. “There is no doubt, however, that the Iranian public expressed dissatisfaction with the current leadership, which proves again that the economic pressure on Iran weakens the regime and therefore the pressure on Iran should continue.”

      He added that quotes by Iran’s “moderate” president elect Hassan Rowhani “speak for themselves. Rowhani is the father of the method of talking while making progress. Talk with the West while cunningly continuing with the nuclear program.”

      "Rowhani is quoted as calling for Israel's destruction and describing us as Satan and as a cancerous tumor, and therefore we must not delude ourselves, because in this case we are the ones who will pay the price,” warned Elkin.

      World powers have offered a cautious welcome to Rowhani, and the United States said he will find a partner in the U.S. if he comes clean on the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program.

      Israel issued an unusually blunt reaction to the election of Iran's new president by saying it was supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who decides on nuclear policy, not the president.

      International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said that “the results are a credit to the Iranian people, but the question is whether the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei -- who actually manages the foreign affairs, national security and Iran’s nuclear program – change the country’s path and behavior?

      “I doubt it,” Steinitz went on to say. “But if it changes, it will only be in response to increased pressure.”