United States President Barack Obama will address the United Nations (UN) General Assembly this evening and is expected to send an assertive message over Iran’s nuclear programme, though without setting red lines.
President Obama is set to deliver a speech to the assembled world leaders in New York later today. Israeli daily Haaretz reports that White House officials have said that Obama’s speech will send a clear and stern warning to Iran over their nuclear development, but will stop short of issuing the kind of ultimatum which Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has recently been demanding.
Haaretz quotes a senior White House official saying, ‘We have a red line: the president is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We have consistently framed that issue around Iran’s profound failure to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear program.’
Meanwhile, Netanyahu will travel to New York on Thursday and his General Assembly speech is expected to focus squarely on Iranian nuclear development, with Israeli daily Maariv speculating that Netanyahu will use the opportunity to set his own clear red lines.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already arrived in New York and yesterday conducted several interviews, in which he claimed that Israel has ‘no roots’ in the Middle East and defended his country’s right to develop nuclear power. Ahmadinejad delivered a speech to the General Assembly yesterday in a special session on the rule of law, during which Israel’s envoy to the UN Ron Prosor walked out, later commenting that ‘To allow Ahmadinejad to speak at the UN about the rule of law is like appointing a pyromaniac to be a fire chief.’