World Bulletin/News Desk
Speaking at the 68th UN General Assembly meeting Tuesday, US President Barack Obama insisted that the US is not seeking to overthrow the Iranian government, and affirmed the right of the Iranian people to a peaceful nuclear program.
“We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy. Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN Security Council resolutions,” said Obama.
There were signs that pointed to the Iranian government’s willingness to do just that, he added.
“Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon. These statements made by our respective governments should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement. We should be able to achieve a resolution that respects the rights of the Iranian people, while giving the world confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful. “
Obama re-affirmed his commitment to a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program, though he did point to potential challenges ahead.
“The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested. For while the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation, Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world,” he said.
He added, “I don’t believe this difficult history can be overcome overnight – the suspicion runs too deep. But I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship – one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”
Perhaps the first step in this process will be held later this week on Thursday when US Secretary of State, John Kerry, will meet with his Iranian counterpart, as part of the P5+1 talks to address Iran’s nuclear program. The meeting would be the highest-level meeting between the two nation’s top diplomats since 2007.
Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, is scheduled to address the UN later Tuesday. The White House has said it is willing to meet with the Iranians, though no official meeting has been set.
Last Mod: 24 Eylül 2013, 22:13