Washington, Sept. 25 – America won’t tolerate a nuclear Iran and won’t stand for the religiously-driven violence that recently swept through the world, killing a U.S. ambassador, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday in a wide-ranging address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
“Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” the president said. “It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty,” the president said. “That is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Iran trains, arms, and funds its Hezbollah proxies in Lebanon and its Hamas proxies in the Gaza Strip. It provides support for the Assad regime’s massacre of Syrian civilians. Its leaders have as recently as this week called for Israel’s destruction and denied the Holocaust. The regime also makes a point of promising to share its nuclear know-how with like-minded entities.
Said Obama, “Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited.”
Speaking about the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, in which attackers killed Amb. Chris Stevens and three other consular staff, Obama said, “The attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded.”
Subsequent protests – sparked by an obscure film that insulted Mohammed – quickly spread across the Middle East, leading to hostility and other civilian killings by angry mobs.
“There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents,” Obama said. “There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan…Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.”
Regarding Syria, Obama said, “The regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin.”
More than 120 presidents, prime ministers and monarchs attended the meeting under heavy security. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak on Thursday and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to speak on Wednesday. The Iranian president gave previews of his speech in meetings on Sunday and Monday, ‘predicting’ the eradication of Israel and defending Holocaust denial. “They have no roots there in history,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said of the Israelis.