TEHRAN, May 4 (UPI) -- Iranian presidential contender Mohsen Rezaei said the era of aggression with Washington is over, adding that Tehran can exploit the U.S. position in the region.
"We can use the U.S. needs favorable to our national interests if we pursue the position of strength," the Principlist candidate said.
Rezaei, a former commander of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, told reporters in his first news conference since launching his bid for the presidency last week that he was not, however, taking a soft line on ties with Washington, the Iranian Students News Agency reports.
"I advocate neither surrender nor adventure," he said.
He added that Iran and the United States shared many of the same regional objectives, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan, but said the Washington strategy for security was misguided.
"We believe regional security will bring development, but no nation can be developed through bloody democracy seen in Iraq and bloody freedom as claimed by the United States," he said.
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani are mentioned as possible contenders on the Principlist ticket for the June 7 presidential contest as well.
Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not made a formal announcement on his intentions, though he is expected to seek another term.