Hard-line can­di­date says U.S. should ‘fear’ regime

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

TEHRAN | A hard-line can­di­date in Iran’s up­com­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion said the United States should be made to fear Iran so that it will back off on sanc­tions and threats.

Ebrahim Raisi told a state TV talk show Wednesday that “to­day Amer­i­cans are afraid of the word ‘Iran,’” say­ing: “... The so­lu­tion is not backing down. We must force them to re­treat.”

Mr. Raisi is chal­leng­ing in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani, a mod­er­ate in the Ira­nian po­lit­i­cal spec­trum who has tried to im­prove re­la­tions with the West and whose govern­ment reached a land­mark nu­clear agree­ment with world pow­ers. Iran’s hard-lin­ers crit­i­cized the deal, say­ing Mr. Rouhani gave too much away.

Mr. Rouhani is widely seen as the front-run­ner in next month’s elec­tion, but Mr. Raisi is close to Supreme Leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei.

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