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Iran presidential candidate vows 'constructive' outreach to West if he gets elected

A potential front-runner in Iran's presidential race is suggesting he would seek better relations with the West in efforts to lessen international showdowns.

Hasan Rohani, Iran's former nuclear negotiator, apparently sought to stake out a moderate tone for the June election to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is considered a possible leading candidate because of his centrist views and close ties to the ruling clerics.

Rohani told a rally on Thursday that he would seek "constructive interaction with the world" in an apparent reference to Western nations, which have increased sanctions in bids to rein in Iran's nuclear program.

Iran's president, however, has little direct say in foreign policy, which is directed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Rohani has been one of Khamenei's representatives in the Supreme National Security Council.