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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 06:03 GMT 07:03 UK
Where Iran's candidates stood
Iranians have elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as their new president. He and run-off rival Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani offered two distinctly different visions for the country's future:


Rafsanjani: Part of the religious establishment, but seen as a pragmatic conservative open to a wider range of views. As president, sought to re-establish Iran as regional power. Ahmadinejad: Hardline conservative and former university lecturer who shot from obscurity to become the mayor of Tehran. Aged 49, he has a reputation for living a simple life.


Rafsanjani: Says he is ready to negotiate on Iran's nuclear programme - which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes but the US says could be used to make weapons - "but is not ready to accept bullying and imposition" by the US. Ahmadinejad: Has repeatedly defended his country's nuclear research programme, saying of the US and European Union: "They will not allow us to progress easily but we should not surrender to their will."


Rafsanjani: Open to a thaw with West. Believes it could be time to open new chapter in relationship with the US "if the Americans are sincere in their co-operation and working with Iran". Ahmadinejad: Cautious. "America's unilateral move to sever ties... was aimed at destroying the Islamic revolution... it remains Iran's decision to re-establish relations."


Rafsanjani: Has pledged to give Iranians billions of dollars of stock options and benefits, and to "prioritise the poorer classes", giving the jobless up to 1.5m rials ($165) a month. Ahmadinejad: Has pledged to fight corruption and discrimination, and has promised a fairer distribution of the country's vast oil wealth.


Rafsanjani: Says he wants to "open up society so that people will not be afraid to express their opinions". Opposed harsh Islamic penal codes and promoted better job prospects for women. Ahmadinejad: Has promoted "return to revolutionary values". Shut down fast-food restaurants in Tehran and required male city employees to have beards. Denies would impose stricter form of Islam.


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