Washington, Sep 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti): A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten Israel's existence, the security of the Persian Gulf nations, and global economic stability, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday in his speech to the UN General Assembly.
"We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power. But one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace," Obama told UN delegates. "Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained."
Time is running out for a diplomatic resolution to Iran's nuclear ambitions, Obama told the UN General Assembly while saying: "the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon".
Obama's comments came just a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made incendiary statements concerning Israel, saying it has "no roots" in the Middle East.
Ahmadinejad is set to address the UN General Assembly Wednesday.
In his speech, Obama also made a spirited call for reconciliation and tolerance in the wake of the deadly anti-American violence that has surged through the Muslim world since a video defaming the Prophet Mohammed was posted to YouTube earlier this month.
On Syria, Obama said the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end.
In Syria, the future should "not belong to a dictator who massacres his own people," Obama told UN delegates, referring to Assad.