AFP
Last updated: 24 September, 2014

Obama urges Iran to seize “historic opportunity” of nuclear deal

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged Iran to seize the “historic opportunity” of reaching a deal with world powers on its contested nuclear program in a speech at the United Nations.

“America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue, as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them,” he told the General Assembly.

“This can only happen if Iran takes this historic opportunity,” Obama added.

“My message to Iran’s leaders and people is simple: do not let this opportunity pass. We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”

Western powers fear that Tehran is using its nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it has only peaceful intentions.

Talks between Iran and six powers, known as the P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — are currently at a critical juncture.

The negotiations have only two months left to overcome hurdles in the way of a deal on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.