“President Barack Obama will warn Iran on Tuesday that the United States will ‘do what we must’ to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim countries,” Reuters reports this morning.
USA Today‘s The Oval blog adds that Obama will also “pay tribute to Ambassador Chris Stevens in his address.” Stevens died after a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The president is scheduled to be among the first from a long list of world leaders addressing the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly this week. He’s due to speak just after 10 a.m. ET. The U.N. webcasts its proceedings here. We will be posting updates as the president and other leaders address the assembly.
Obama’s address, of course, comes as the U.S. presidential campaign heads to its finish. The Associated Press writes that:
“Were there any doubt that the U.S. presidential campaign hung heavy over Obama’s speech to the General Assembly, Republican rival Mitt Romney shredded it by assailing Obama’s foreign affairs leadership on the eve of the president’s speech.
” ‘This is time for a president who will shape events in the Middle East, not just be merciful or be at the mercy of the events,’ Romney said Monday. Focusing on the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya and mass bloodshed in Syria, Romney repeatedly ridiculed Obama’s comment that nations moving toward democracy after the Arab Spring face ‘bumps in the road.’ “
Both Obama and Romney are scheduled to address the Clinton Global Initiative today.
On Morning Edition today, NPR’s Michele Kelemen previewed the “busy week of diplomacy” for Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. And she noted that among the other leaders who will be speaking are Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Wednesday, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday.