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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid