Nov. 3 - Iran's supreme leader backs President Hassan Rouhani's push for nuclear talks, warning hardliners not to undermine the new leader's efforts. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
As crowds gather in Tehran, Iran's Supreme Leader offers strong backing to President Hassan Rouhani's push for nuclear negotiations. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments will help shield Rouhani, who has sought to thaw relations with the West SOUNDBITE: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei saying (Farsi): "No one should consider our negotiators as compromisers. This is wrong. These are our own children, the offspring of the Islamic Revolution.." Iran will resume negotiations with six world powers, including the United States, in Geneva Thursday. The talks are aimed at ending a standoff over its nuclear work that Tehran denies is weapons-related. Hardline factions have resisted calls from moderate forces to drop the "Death to America" chant, often heard at Friday prayers throughout Iran. Khamenei says while he is not optimistic about the outcome of talks -- he sees no downside to holding the negotiations. Rouhani hopes a deal there will mean an end to sanctions that have cut the OPEC country's oil exports and hurt the wider economy. But any concession that looks like Iran is compromising on what it sees as its sovereign rights will be strongly resisted by conservatives.