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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday pushed for pursuing diplomacy with Iran’s new government, but called on Tehran to be transparent about its nuclear program.

“The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama told the U.N. General Assembly, speaking just before Iranian President Hassan Rowhani was to address the annual summit.

Obama said he had instructed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a possible new diplomatic opening with Tehran.

Kerry will meet Thursday with his new Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as foreign ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia at the United Nations headquarters.

It will be the first such minister-level talks on the nuclear issue since the negotiations were launched a decade ago.

But Obama stressed that Iran must take “transparent” and “verifiable” actions to end international suspicions over its nuclear program.

Iran’s economy has been crippled by a series of U.N. and U.S. sanctions aimed at crippling its nuclear program.

An offer by Western powers believed to lay out a softening of some of the sanctions in return for a halt to Tehran’s uranium enrichment program has so far not gotten a response from Iran.

“Since I took office, I have made it clear – in letters to the Supreme Leader in Iran and more recently to President Rowhani – that America prefers to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program peacefully, but that we are determined to prevent them from developing a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

All eyes are watching to see if Obama will meet Rowhani on the sidelines of the annual meeting at the United Nations.

It would be a historic first since the 1979 revolution in Iran ousted the Shah and installed an Islamic republic.

“We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy,” Obama told the U.N.

“Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

There are hopes that the new more moderate leadership which took office in August in Tehran may usher in an era of progress.

But Obama warned that “to succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.”

“After all, it is the Iranian government’s choices that have led to the comprehensive sanctions that are currently in place. This isn’t simply an issue between America and Iran – the world has seen Iran evade its responsibilities in the past, and has an abiding interest in making sure that Iran meets its obligations in the future.”

Full video of President Obama’s speech is below.

Photo Credit: AFP/Spencer Platt

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  • bikejedi

    Translation . I actually don’t mind a Nuclear Iran , have you read my book ? Have you not witnessed my total support for Al Qaeda in Syria oopps I mean the Syrian Rebels .. Were you sleeping while I helped the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Egypt ? Israel wants to do something about it but I wont even give them any Tech or intel to help them . Doesn’t that tell you anything ? No I will do what I always do and punt and leave this problem for the next President just like I did with Egypt and Syria ….

    • Mikey7a

      Are you Michael Stoll’s Parrot? See, this is why we have a problem listening to anything you Rethuglican trolls say. You are a bunch of Stepford Wives, and not one of you can speak past the drivel that Rush Limpballs, or that idiot Beck can spew. When you really start to use your brain, and have a reasonable, rational thought Jedi, I just might listen.

      Oh wait, reasonable and rational are NOT in the Right Wing’s dictionary, I’m sorry(for you).

      • bikejedi

        Immature intolerant and ignorant name calling are the hallmarks of an Obama Liberal who cant debate on merit . I notice that you cant refute as single thing I said nor did you try to . And then you say reasonable and rational are not in the right wings dictionary ….They are because we use Fact and Logic and that scares the Bejesus out of you ..

        • Mikey7a

          You want fact? Here’s a FACT!

          “Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”


          • Mikey7a

            I will say it once again, stop getting your information from FOX News, and I’ll start to listen to things you say. Until then, please just go away/

          • BillP

            Mikey just read bikejedi’s comments with an understanding that they are the rantings off a boy with a StarWars addiction. He loves to come up with empty platitudes like ” the time for talk is over” but can’t seem to come up with provable facts. You know once these right wing trolls start talking about liberals and liberal media they all have the same thing to say. Only Fox has the true facts and he likes to claim no one refutes his “facts”. Of course his facts are empty shell phrases. Unfortunately he and the others don’t have anything going on in their lives so they write their junk comments on this site.

          • bikejedi

            Words not deeds there … Look we have been talking to them since the Bush admin and they just keep laughing and Nuking up . Islam views capitulation as weakness . I don’t blame Obama solely for the talk as Bush did it before him . However , the situation wasn’t like this when Bush was in office and it is now . So Obama needs to be a man of action and not a man of words . Iran is spreading out these assets as to make them hard to take out . The longer we wait the harder that becomes . They are putting these facilities in populations centers , underground , and in side of mountains . The time for talk is over and we need to take out these sites because Iran isn’t going to stop just because the rest ot the world wants them too ,. They are radical Muslims and the recent descriptions of them in the Liberal media as moderate would only fool a Liberal . If they get a NUKE it isn’t a matter of if but when they will give them to Terrorist to bomb us . You cant play with these Insane Muslims and bargaining is a waste of time