WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is congratulating Iranians on their presidential election but says the Tehran government created an intimidating environment that limited free expression.
Moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani was declared the winner Saturday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the U.S. respects the results and congratulates Iranians for making their voices heard. But he says censorship and a lack of transparency preceded the vote.
Carney says the U.S. still wants a diplomatic solution to concerns about Iran's disputed nuclear program.
Rowhani won after a surge of support from reform-minded Iranians put him over 50 percent, thus avoiding a runoff.
The former nuclear negotiator became the default moderate candidate after ruling clerics barred more prominent reform candidates.