A conservative challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran's presidential race is vowing to improve ties with the United States and "save" the country's economy if elected.

Mohsen Rezaei, former chief of the powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guards, is accusing the hard-line Iranian leader of damaging the country by pursuing a harmful foreign policy full.

Rezaei said Ahmadinejad's mismanagement has taken Iran to the "edge of a precipice."

The conservative told The Associated Press that he has devised a step-by-step "reciprocal exchange" plan to patch up ties with Washington.

Although he is not considered a leading contender in the June 12 election, Rezaei could pose a threat to Ahmadinejad by siphoning away the conservative camp's vote.