File - In this file photo taken on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Hassan Rouhani waves, as he arrives at the interior ministry to register his candidacy for presidential election, in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Iran's hard-liners are hoping they can benefit from the rise of Donald Trump in upcoming elections, arguing that their own country needs a tougher leader to stand up to an American president whose administration has put the Islamic Republic "on notice". They say it's time for "revolutionary diplomacy" to confront the U.S. after four years of a more conciliatory policy under moderate incumbent President Hassan Rouhani.Hard-liners feel energized by the Trump administration's repeated criticism of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. With less than two months to go before the May 19 election, they have yet to settle on one to run against Rouhani.One potential candidate, Mohsen Rezaei, a former chief of the elite Revolutionary Guard, has lashed out at the administration for lacking revolutionary spirit – tough words in a country that prizes the heroes of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that created the current governmental system.Continued hostility to it by the Trump administration could discourage Western companies from doing business in Iran and embolden U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia that are hostile to Tehran.The administration, meanwhile, has implemented additional U.S. sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program. Rouhani won the 2013 presidential election with nearly 51 percent from a turnout of about 38 million.
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