JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama listens to President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon speaking to the media before a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the 68th United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York on September 24, 2013. At the assembly, Obama talked about the importance of engaging diplomatically with Iran.
President Barack Obama today spoke at the United Nations General Assembly. In addition to pushing for an international resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons, Obama wants to have a face-to-face to President Hassan Rouhani about Iran’s nuclear program.
This historic meeting would be the first time the U.S. and Iran has met in over 30 years. President Obama believes that this would be the first step towards settling decades of suspicion and mutual mistrust.
He said this morning that the U.S. “respects the right of Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy” but not the development of nuclear weapons. Although Iran has stated they have no intention of developing nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not supportive of allowing Iran to enrich uranium, according to the Associated Press. President Rouhani is planning on speaking later today.
What will President Rouhani say in response to President Obama’s speech? Is a meeting between the U.S. and Iran long overdue or is it still too soon? How will the rest of the world respond?
Reza Marashi, research director of the National Iranian American Council
Alireza Nader, Senior International Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation