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Obama Offers Iran Dialogue, Stresses International Cooperation    


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U.S. President Barack Obama is offering Iran "a serious, meaningful dialogue" about its nuclear program. But The president is warning Tehran that unprecedented global cooperation will meet its nuclear threat.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Obama says a concerted worldwide effort will counter nuclear proliferation. He is repeating an accusation he made, with the leaders of Britain and France at the Group of 20 summit, that Iran is building a secret uranium enrichment plant.

"This is a serious challenge to the global nonproliferation regime, and continues a disturbing pattern of Iranian evasion," he said. "That is why international negotiations with Iran scheduled for October 1st now take on added urgency."

Mr. Obama says Iran has a choice of living up to its responsibilities and being integrated with the community of nations, or facing increased pressure and isolation.

"My offer of a serious, meaningful dialogue to resolve this issue remains open," he said. "But Iran must now cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and take action to demonstrate its peaceful intentions."

Hours later, Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Tehran will allow the IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear agency, to inspect Iran's unfinished uranium facility. He did not say when the visits would take place.

Mr. Obama, meanwhile, says the global community is more united than ever before against Iran's nuclear ambitions. And he says the United States is committed to a new chapter of international cooperation.

"President Medvedev of Russia and I agreed that Iran must pursue a new course or face consequences," said Mr. Obama. "All of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany, have made it clear that Iran must fulfill its responsibilities."

The president says his administration is also doing its part toward a nuclear-free world.

"The United States is meeting our responsibilities by pursuing an agreement with Russia to reduce our strategic warheads and launchers," he said. "And just as we meet our responsibilities, so must other nations, including Iran and North Korea."

Mr. Obama says the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania also produced advances in Middle East peace efforts, the fight against global warming, and international financial reform.