Outgoing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will have to be accountable for his deeds, which can neither be forgotten nor accepted, President Shimon Peres told reporters from Reuters on Sunday.

Peres was interviewed following the election of Hassan Rohani as the new president of Iran. He was reluctant to voice an opinion about Rohani, saying that the new president would be judged in accordance with his future deeds, although it is known that he is considered to be a moderate who has already stated that he will not allow extremist policies to continue.

Asked by the Reuters whether the results of the elections spelled good news for Israel, Peres replied: “The results surprised all the experts. The people of Iran expressed their will and voted for Rohani. The loser is [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, who was certain that the people would vote in accordance with his wishes – and the results proved differently.”

Peres emphasized that the high voter turnout and the percentage of support for Rohani was indicative of the true desire of the Iranian people to turn away from the path of extremism pursued by the previous administration.

“At the end of the day, the true leader of Iran is the nation, which decided to vote for the most moderate candidate, and not to allow the radical administration to continue,” he said.

With regard to outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Peres said that history will never forgive him for what he did to Iran.

“He wasted millions of dollars on uranium; he brought the Iranian people to its knees; he destroyed the economy; he hung innocent citizens; he made Iran a center for terrorism and turned it into a state of isolation.”

Recalling that relations between Israel and Iran had once been very friendly, Peres expressed the hope that Iran would overcome the tragedy inflicted on it by the outgoing regime, which he said was a tragedy not only for Iran but for the world at large.

The vote for Rohani was a vote for change, he said, and on that score the result of the election can be perceived as good news.

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