Hard-line Iranian candidate says U.S. should fear Iran
In this picture taken on Friday, April 14, 2017, Iranian cleric Ebrahim Raisi attends at the Interior Ministry to register his candidacy for the May 19 presidential elections, in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo / Vahid Salemi)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:04PM EDT
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 landmark nuclear agreement with world powers.
Iran's hard-liners 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.