Iranian Candidate Vows To Reset Foreign Policy, ‘Reconcile’ With Outside World

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator, a candidate in next week’s presidential elections, says he will reset Iran’s economy and reverse President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy directions if elected.

Addressing a campaign rally in Tehran Saturday, Hasan Rowhani said his priority in foreign policy would be to “reconcile” with the outside world and distance Iran from Ahmadinejad’s combative, hardline style.

Iran’s president does not have control of central issues like nuclear policy, but a president who has a close relationship with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can wield influence.

Rowhani blamed Ahmadinejad for Iran’s ailing economy, saying his mismanagement and hardline policies brought punishing sanctions for Iran.

Rowhani is one of the eight candidates approved by the Guardian Council, Iran’s election overseers, to run in the June 14 race.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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