Pres. Obama pledges diplomacy with Iran and Syria
President Obama called on the UN General Assembly to make sure there will be serious consequences if Syria refuses to hand over its chemical weapons.
With the Syrian government seemingly hesitant to live up to its side of the Russian-brokered plan, Obama called for a strong UN resolution that would punish Syria if it fails to surrender its stockpile in a verifiable way.
"The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. Now, there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments. And there must be consequences if they fail to do so."
The U.S. leader also laid out Washington's priorities for Syria as well as the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.
Obama said the U.S. always considers diplomatic solutions, but does not rule out the use of military force against extremist threats.
On Iran, Obama says a deal that would allow Tehran to have its own nuclear program should be possible if it acts in a "transparent and verifiable" way.
Obama said he had instructed his Secretary of State to hold face-to-face negotiations with his Iranian counterpart regarding Tehran's nuclear program.
"We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course, and given President Rouhani's stated commitment to reach an agreement, I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort with the Iranian government."
President Hassan Rouhani's recent overtures to hold talks have raised hopes that U.S.-Iran relations could improve after more than three decades of estrangement.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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