(AP) TEHRAN, Iran — A hard-line candidate in Iran’s upcoming presidential election says 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: “This is the solution. The solution is not backing down. We must force them to retreat.”
Raisi is challenging the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who has tried to improve relations with the West and whose government reached a key nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.
More conservative elements of the regime criticized the deal, saying Rouhani gave too much away.
Rouhani is widely seen as the front-runner in next month’s election, but Raisi is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.