Obama addresses United Nations on Syria, Iran - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Obama addresses UN, won't meet Iranian President

Posted: Updated:
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday welcomed the new Iranian government's pursuit of a "more moderate course," saying it should offer the basis for a breakthrough on Iran's nuclear impasse with the United Nations and the U.S.

While he signaled a willingness to directly engage Iran's leaders, senior officials say he will not meet Iranian President Hasan Rouhani while both leaders are at the United Nations.

He did task Secretary of State John Kerry with pursuing diplomacy with Tehran.

"The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested," Obama said during an address to the U.N. General Assembly.

Obama issued a stern message to the international body itself, saying its ability to meet the test of the times is being challenged by the dispute over what to do about Syria's chemical weapons. He called on the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that would enforce consequences on Syrian President Bashar Assad if he fails to follow a U.S.-Russian deal to turn his chemical weapon stockpiles over to the international community.

Obama also announced that the United States would provide $339 million in additional humanitarian aid to refugees and countries affected by the Syrian civil war, bringing the total U.S. aid devoted to that crisis to nearly $1.4 billion.

As the General Assembly meetings opened, the situation in Syria was overshadowed by a flurry of friendly gestures between the U.S. and Iran's new government. Obama said recent statements by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a moderate cleric elected in June, should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement on Iran's disputed nuclear program.

The West has long suspected that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. Tehran has consistently denied the charge.

Obama, reflecting the skepticism of many in the U.S. and around the world, said Rouhani's "conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable."

Obama said he was asking Kerry to pursue diplomatic progress with Iran, in coordination with five other world powers. Kerry will join representatives from those nations Thursday in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

It's unclear whether Kerry and Zarif will meet one-on-one on the sidelines of that meeting.

Obama arrived at the annual U.N. meetings with diplomatic opportunities, not only on Iran and Syria but also on the elusive effort to seal lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. While the prospects of a peace accord remain as slim as ever, the two sides have resumed direct talks, partly as a result of months of lobbying by Kerry.

The president praised Israeli and Palestinian leaders for their willingness to take "significant political risks" in order to get back to the negotiating table.

"Now the rest of us must also be willing to take risks," he said, adding that the United States must recognize that Israel's security depends on the formation of a Palestinian state.

Obama will meet later Tuesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He'll also hold talks at the White House next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Man struck and killed by NYC subway train

    Man struck and killed by NYC subway train

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:19:38 GMT
    A man in his 60s was killed by an oncoming train in midtown Manhattan after jumping on the tracks to grab his personal belongings that fell.
    A man in his 60s was killed by an oncoming train in midtown Manhattan after jumping on the tracks to grab his personal belongings that fell.
  • Family of teen shot and killed by police sues NYC

    Family of teen shot and killed by police sues NYC

    The family of a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy whose fatal shooting by police last year sparked days of protests has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against New York City.
    The family of a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy whose fatal shooting by police last year sparked days of protests has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against New York City.
  • Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:57:17 GMT
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices