Sept. 24 - U.S. President Barack Obama tells the U.N. General Assembly that there should be a basis for an agreement on Iran's nuclear ambitions but that the roadblocks will be difficult to overcome. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday (September 24) that there should be a basis for an agreement on Iran's nuclear ambitions but that the roadblocks will be difficult to overcome. In an address laying out U.S. policy toward the volatile Middle East and North Africa, Obama made clear that the United States will take direct action to eliminate threats when necessary and will use military force when diplomacy fails. Obama, in closely watched remarks on Iran based on a diplomatic opening offered by Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, said the United States wants to resolve the Iran nuclear issue peacefully but is determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. "The roadblocks may prove to be too great but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested," Obama said. Obama said the U.S. wants to resolve the Iran nuclear issue peacefully but determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. He added the U.S. was not seeking regime change in Iran. Based on recent statements from the Iranian leadership, Obama said there should be a basis for agreement on the Iran nuclear program, but said "words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable." "Encouraged" by Rouhani's "stated commitment to reach an agreement," Obama will direct Secretary of State John Kerry to directly pursue this effort with Iran.