U.S., Iranian presidents tout diplomacy at UN
U.S. President Barack Obama said cautiously on Tuesday that the United States was ready to engage in diplomacy with its long-time foe Iran.
Addressing the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, Obama welcomed recent overtures from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but challenged him to prove he is serious about pursuing a nuclear deal.
"We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course. The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested."
President Rouhani also told the UN General Assembly that Iran is willing to take part in "immediate" and "results-oriented" talks over its nuclear program.
"Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions."
But it was just a handshake that never happened between the two leaders that underscored the difficulties that lie ahead.
There was speculation that Presidents Obama and Rouhani might meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, but the two leaders never crossed paths.
With regard to Syria, President Obama called on the UN Security Council for a strong resolution that would punish the Bashar al-Assad regime if it fails to turn over its chemical weapons.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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