Obama directs Kerry to pursue diplomatic deal with Iran - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Obama directs Kerry to pursue diplomatic deal with Iran

Posted: Updated:
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his address to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday. AP photo U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his address to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday. AP photo

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Barack Obama says he has directed Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a nuclear weapons agreement with Iran and that he firmly believes "the diplomatic path must be tested."

Obama told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday he's encouraged that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani is pursuing a more moderate course. But he said Rouhani's "conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable."

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

It's still unclear if Obama will meet with Rouhani while at the United Nations. The leaders of the two countries haven't had face-to-face contact in more than 30 years.

U.S. officials say no meeting is planned, although they haven't ruled one out.

Obama also said the time is ripe to press for a resolution of the long conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Obama told the United Nations' General Assembly in New York that all sides must be willing to take risks in order to achieve Mideast peace.

The president said Israel and its friends must be willing to accept a Palestinian state. And he says Arab states must recognize that stability can only be achieved through a two-state solution with a secure Israel.

Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Frankly