Iran's president retains top ayatollah's backing despite criticism as nuclear deadline nears

February 14, 2015 6:15 AM

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Iran's president retains top ayatollah's backing despite criticism as nuclear deadline nears

FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a debate on a vote of confidence for his choice for the new minister of Science, Research and Technology, Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi, in an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran. The political stakes are high for Rouhani as nuclear negotiations with the West enter the homestretch toward a June deadline. Reaching a deal would bring him a victory, help repair the economy and boost moderates seeking greater social freedoms. Failure will strengthen hard-liners who opposed the talks from the start. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File) (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this file photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as they walk in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of the next round of nuclear discussion. Zarif has borne the brunt of the hard-liners' most recent...

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