U.S. President Barack Obama maintained his stance of pursuing a dual-track of engagement and pressure on Iran in his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday morning.
“The United States and the international community seek a resolution to our differences with Iran, and the door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it,” Obama said. “But the Iranian government must demonstrate a clear and credible commitment and confirm to the world the peaceful intent of its nuclear program.”
In a speech that focused on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Obama dedicated a scant three paragraphs to the issue that has dominated the ongoing international summit in New York.
He reasserted, as the P5+1 did on Wednesday, his desire to see a resolution to the standoff over Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. But Obama added that if Iran did not fulfill its responsibilities, there would be consequences, specifically mentioning the last round of sanctions in the UN Security Council earlier this summer.
Obama’s remarks on Iran:
As part of our effort on non-proliferation, I offered the Islamic Republic of Iran an extended hand last year, and underscored that it has both rights and responsibilities as a member of the international community. I also said — in this hall — that Iran must be held accountable if it failed to meet those responsibilities. And that is what we have done.
Iran is the only party to the NPT that cannot demonstrate the peaceful intentions of its nuclear program, and those actions have consequences. Through U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, we made it clear that international law is not an empty promise.
Now let me be clear once more: The United States and the international community seek a resolution to our differences with Iran, and the door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it. But the Iranian government must demonstrate a clear and credible commitment and confirm to the world the peaceful intent of its nuclear program.
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