News / USA

    Obama UN Speech to Address Iran Nuclear Issue, Syria

    President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office of the White House along the colonnade before traveling to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.
    President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office of the White House along the colonnade before traveling to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 23, 2013.
    In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, President Barack Obama will address overtures from Iran, steps to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons, and Israel-Palestinian peace talks.  

    Obama is expected to speak directly to world leaders about recent Iranian overtures, and on Syria about what he sees as the world's responsibility to firmly oppose the use of chemical weapons.

    But White House officials say he also intends to speak about how the U.S. sees events and complex challenges in the Middle East and North Africa, including the situation in Syria, and how these relate to U.S. interests.

    At an event Monday discussing global challenges to civil society, Obama provided a possible preview of what he may say about what he called “convulsions” in the Arab world.

    He said they are a reminder that change is “not always a smooth path” but is something the United States is committed to.

    “I want to affirm that over the long run, we will all be better off if that small shopkeeper or that small farmer or that young student or that disabled person or that gay or lesbian person or that ethnic minority or that religious minority, if they have a voice and their dignity is respected, that is what will preserve our dignity and that is what will preserve our security over the long term,” Obama said.

    On Syria, the White House has said Obama will call for the international community to take a firm position against the use of chemical weapons.

    He also will urge leaders to support a U.N. Security Council resolution to enforce consequences if the Bashar al-Assad government fails to cooperate with steps to bring Syrian chemical stockpiles under international control.

    As for hopes of a possible thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations, amid overtures by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, White House officials continue to say that no meeting is scheduled.

    Iran will hold talks with the P5+1 group of nations, including the United States, this week in New York.

    Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said no single meeting or encounter will solve all issues between the U.S. and Iran, but that the U.S. remains open to engagement.

    "The issues between the United States and Iran are not ones that would be settled in any one discussion and there [are] longstanding differences, particularly related to the nuclear program," he said.

    The Iranian leader addresses the General Assembly session Tuesday after Obama speaks to world leaders.  Rouhani has recently said Iran has no intention to develop nuclear weapons.

    There was new pressure Monday on Obama from key Republican and Democratic senators, who urged him use his speech to state again that Iran will not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.  

    The president also will also use his speech to take note of the direct talks Israel and Palestinians are holding on final status issues and opportunities these present.

    On Tuesday, Obama meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the General Assembly session.  He meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on September 30.

    The president also meets with Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman, focusing on challenges Lebanon is facing from thousands of refugees from Syria and support for Lebanon's democratic process.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.