The next round of talks with the five U.N. Security Council permanent members and Germany is scheduled for November 7 in Geneva.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threw his weight on Sunday behind President Hassan Rouhani’s effort to solve a nuclear dispute with the West and lift crippling sanctions.

“The negotiating team has a difficult mission ahead of it and nobody should undermine its work or denigrate it as a concession,” he was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency ISNA.

Mr. Rouhani’s efforts have come under attack from hardliners who have portrayed his approach as a surrender.

They have also termed a historic September telephone conversation between Mr. Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama a “diplomatic sell-out.”

“If these negotiations bear fruit, all the better. If they don’t, that means the country must stand on its own two feet again,” said the Ayatollah, who has the final say on strategic issues including the nuclear talks.

The next round of talks with the five U.N. Security Council permanent members and Germany is scheduled for November 7, 2013 in Geneva.

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