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At U.N., Obama welcomes signs of Iranian moderation

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UNITED NATIONS — President Barack Obama today welcomed the new Iranian government’s pursuit of a “more moderate course,” saying it should offer the basis for a breakthrough on Iran’s nuclear impasse with the United Nations and the U.S. He signaled a willingness to directly engage with Iran’s leaders. “The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama said during an address to the U.N. General Assembly.

Obama also issued a stern message to the international body itself, saying it is being challenged by the dispute over what to do about Syria’s chemical weapons. He called on the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that would enforce consequences on Syrian President Bashar Assad if he fails to follow a U.S.-Russian deal to turn over his chemical weapon stockpiles.

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