WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS - The United States respects the vote of the Iranian people, the White House said Saturday following the national election in which Doctor Hassan Rouhani emerged as the winner , while reiterating its offer to engage Tehran directly for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear question.

AT UN Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated President-elect Rowhani, and commended the country's high turnout to the polls.

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 after the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and 52 Americans by Iranian students. The U.S. Government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Iran.

“We respect the vote of the Iranian people and congratulate them for their participation in the political process, and their courage in making their voices heard.  Yesterday’s election took place against the backdrop of a lack of transparency, censorship of the media, Internet, and text messages, and an intimidating security environment that limited freedom of expression and assembly,” the White House Press Secretary said in a statement.

“However, despite these government obstacles and limitations, the Iranian people were determined to act to shape their future,” the statement added.

The White House also expressed that hope that the Iranian government would heed the will of the Iranian people and make responsible choices that create a better future for all Iranians.

“The United States remains ready to engage the Iranian government directly in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear.

A statement issued in New York said, the UN chief has been closely following the eleventh presidential election in Iran held on 14 June and notes with satisfaction the reported high turnout. “He extends his warm congratulations to Mr. Hasan Rowhani, the confirmed winner.”

According to media reports, more than 70 per cent of some 50 million eligible voters took part on Friday's elections.

The statement said the secretary-general intends to remain engaged with Iranian authorities and with the President-elect on issues relevant to the international community and the welfare of the Iranian people.

“[Ban] will continue encouraging Iran to play a constructive role in regional and international affairs,” the statement added.