US President Barack Obama has told the United Nations General Assembly that America will do what it must to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear power.
Obama stopped short of agreeing to an Israeli demand that Washington set a specific “red line” that Iran must not cross if it wants to avoid military action.
“The Iranian government continues to prop up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad. Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear programme is peaceful and to meet its obligations to the United Nations,” said the US leader.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon warned states against threatening to attack one another.
Obama’s speech follows two weeks of anti-American violence throughout the Muslim world following the the release of excerpts from a film which is said to mock the Prophet Mohammad.
The president made clear his distaste for insults against any religion but denounced the killing of the US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues in Libya.
“As president of our country and commander in chief of our military I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day. And I will always defend their right to do so. There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. 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.”
Obama called on world leaders to rally against extremism calling the violence an assault on the very ideals the UN was founded upon.
While Syria is not formally on the General Assembly’s agenda, the US leader once again said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime “must come to an end”.