A hard-line candidate in Iran’s upcoming presidential election has said the United States should be made to fear Iran so that it will back off on sanctions and threats. Ebrahim Raisi yesterday told a state TV talk show 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.