Obama to Talk About Iran, Muslim Unrest in UN Speech
President Barack Obama will tell world leaders the United States "will never retreat from the world" when he speaks at the UN General Assembly, the White House said on Monday, UPI reported.
Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Obama will offer context to the international situation and put forward a vision of U.S. leadership.
“He will also send a clear message that the United States will never retreat from the world,” Carney said, according to UPI. "The United States will bring justice to those who harm Americans and the United States will stand strongly for our democratic values abroad."
Carney said he expected Obama to address the recent unrest in the Muslim world over a U.S.-made anti-Islam video, and "the broader context of democratic transitions in the Arab world."
Obama’s speech will also address Iran, Carney emphasized.
“We have consistently framed that issue around Iran's profound failure to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear programs,” he said. “Therefore, the United Nations General Assembly presents ... another opportunity for him to underscore that Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.”
Obama will speak Tuesday at the opening of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.
"It's a real moment for the United States to assert its values and its leadership role to make clear where we stand in the midst of this remarkable period of transformation in the Arab world," said Carney, "[and] how U.S. leadership, combined with the leadership of other nations, is helping the peoples of that region overcome decades of tyranny and move towards democratic forms of government that are more responsive to their aspirations, that respect the rights of women and minorities."
Carney said no sideline bilateral meetings were scheduled.
Also scheduled to speak at the General Assembly is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will deliver his annual speech on Wednesday, which coincides with the Yom Kippur holiday.
In the past, he has used the podium of the United Nations to launch a tirade against Israel, which Iran calls the “Zionist regime,” and the United States.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned Ahmadinejad of the "potentially harmful consequences of inflammatory rhetoric, counter-rhetoric and threats from various countries in the Middle East.”
So far, the Iranian President has continued to thumb his nose at the West and Israel and told CNN on Sunday that “Zionists are at the end of the line.”
On Monday, Ahmadinejad took the podium at a United Nations session on international law, causing Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor to storm out of the room.