Obama to address Iran, Syria, Mideast in U.N. speech

NEW YORK Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:11am EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his meeting with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan in New York September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his meeting with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan in New York September 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will make clear on Tuesday that he wants to pursue a diplomatic path to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program in a U.N. General Assembly speech that will also cover events in Syria and the Middle East.

In a speech scheduled for 10:10 a.m. EDT (1410), a White House official said Obama will lay out U.S. views in three areas: efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, the international effort to gain control of Syria's chemical weapons and the search for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

It remained unclear whether Obama would have a direct encounter with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while both are in New York on Tuesday. White House officials say Obama is open to such an encounter under the right conditions.

The United States and its allies have for years applied pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions. Tehran denies trying to build a weapon and insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only.

But a U.S.-Russian agreement this month aimed at getting control of Syrian chemical weapons after an August 21 poison gas attack in Syria has added momentum to efforts to engage Iran.

Obama and Rouhani exchanged letters recently in which each expressed a willingness to find a diplomatic outcome.

The White House official said Obama's speech will also focus on ongoing efforts to achieve a political resolution to the civil war in Syria.

In addition, he will discuss the resurgence in diplomatic activity aimed at bringing Israelis and Palestinians together as the two parties take part in direct negotiations.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (9)
sjfella wrote:
Obama, shut up. Just shut up. You’re an embarrassment to real Americans.

Sep 24, 2013 9:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
blackout wrote:
what he want to address? “I am spending my people taxes to help Al Qaeda related groups in Syria and I won the Nobel peace prize”?

Sep 24, 2013 9:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
barenski wrote:
quote, sorry if too long

“[Andrei Sakharov] won his Nobel in 1975 for demanding a halt to the testing of nuclear weapons. He, of course, had already tested his. His wife was a pediatrician! What sort of person could perfect a hydrogen bomb while married to a child-care specialist? What sort of physician would stay married to a mate that cracked?

“Anything interesting happen at work today, honeybunch?”

“Yes. My bomb is going to work just great. And how are you doing with that kid with chicken pox?”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

Sep 24, 2013 9:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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