September 23rd, 2009
10:59 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama: Iran, North Korea must comply with nuclear treaties

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Iran and North Korea "must be held accountable" if they continue to ignore international nuclear weapons treaties.

"If the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they put the pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of
regional stability and the security and opportunity of their own people; if they are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East - then they must be held accountable," Obama said in his first speech as president to the U.N. General Assembly.

"The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced," he continued. "We must insist that the future not belong to fear."

Filed under: United Nations
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Mike

    nobama will not even send additional troops to areas where we already are committed and yet he wants to talk about using force. He is a weak President and other nations know it. Good for talking and playing dear leader but has a back bone of jello.

    September 23, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Susan

    I believe we have to be the role models here: who died and made the U.S. God of Nuclear Weapons? Why are we better than anyone else? We certainly didn't show any great moral behavior when we were torturing people; nor when we invaded sovereign Iraq for no good reason. Until Obama manages to convince the world that he is a moral person who believes in the rights of other countries to exist, no matter their politics, which are none of our business most of the time, I don't see North Korea or Iran backing down.

    September 23, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. IF ONLY.......

    Now IF the President has the hutzpa to stand tall with these folks and flex a little muscle maybe they will believe he means what he says and isn't just giving them what the world wants him to say. The Democrats have been VERY short on hutzpa lately and MUCH to long on big speach giving. BIG TEDDY ROOSVELT had it right... TALK softly AND CARRY A BIG STICK and have the courage to use it at the right time.. Obama could use some lessons from him.

    September 23, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    .....Or WHAT, Mr Obama? You have no leverage whatsoever and your words and actions have made the US a doormat. Thanks for all of that.

    September 23, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Dave

    Another "great" speech; long on flowery phrases, short on substance.

    September 23, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. Travis

    You stop or I will tell you again & again. Can't even get more troops in Afganistan, what a joke.

    September 23, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Clive

    The United States has thousands of these weapons. Until they make a commitment to destroy them they have no right to dictate to other countries on their development of nukes.

    September 23, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. Bill

    Don't worry, they WILL continue to ignore the treaties. At some time someone will have to enforce the treaties. Guess who? The ol' warmongering U.S. I hope you're up to it, Mr. Pres.

    September 23, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Mike in MN

    But international law is an empty promise and has been for years. Iran and North Korea are well aware of that. The reason it is an empty promise is becasue the international community is full of leaders like Obama who are just talk, they do not back it up.
    Nothing will be done to stop Iran until Isreal does. No one will stop North Korea. And the terrorists will set up camps again and grow rich off the drug trade with the blessings of the Taliban in Afganistan because Obama won't do what it takes to win there.

    September 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. JDD

    President Obama's quote: "The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced,"

    Count me among those who observe that the logical decision down the road – were Iran and North Korea not to comply with treaties – would be to then enforce it. Let's hypothetically give them a decade to comply, using all diplomatic and sanction means available, and then finally decide that 10 years is enough and regrettably turn to military force to hold then accountable.

    President Obama, in one short paragraph and one concise speech has just completely endorsed the action taken against Iraq by the Bush Administration – and highlighted most of the rest of the world's countries' failure to act when their treaties were ignored.

    September 23, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. JB - NYC

    Or else we are going to write you a nasty letter.. Maybe even two nasty letters. So there!

    September 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Bush_Low_I.Q.

    WRONG WRONG WRONG ..............

    Mr. Obama you are Wrong ................

    We don't need no Diplomacy. We need War.

    WAR WAR only WAR.

    You need CIA to create a false intelligence report that Iran and North Korea has WMDS and then You Should mislead Americans into Iran and N. Korea War.

    Mr. Obama Just Do what Mr. George W. Bush Did............. We Americans are War Loving People............ Go Obama Go................ 🙂

    September 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Nathan

    Shouldn't we be worried about our economy? These types of articles make me wonder if we are more concerned with our country or others. I know we need to protect our citizens, but you have to have money far that. We should be helping our economy not scolding ever country that decides to invest in defense.

    September 23, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    President Obama, in one short paragraph and one concise speech has just completely endorsed the action taken against Iraq by the Bush Administration –

    Not quite. We went in after terrorists – Al Queda – and the no-where-to-be found weapons of mass destruction. We invaded the WRONG country under FALSE pretenses. Period. Thanks for playing though.

    September 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Jimmy the Greek

    Obama is the 90 lb weakling. Why foreign nations are so gleeful is because they FINALLY see weakness in America in Obama.

    The world politely claps and then ignores the empty suit.

    Poor Obama – starved for attention, deluded into thinking his words actually mean something outside the cocoon of his rabid liberal supporters... will soon be uterly rejected by the American people (2010).

    September 23, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Scott, Tucson

    Okay, lets declare war on Iran and N. Korea folks. But first Obama is having a hard time trying to make a simple decision on whether to send in more troops into Afghanistan as requested by the General running running the show over there. I suspect that decision would come after 2012 if by luck Obama were to win a second term.

    September 23, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Padraig

    The Russians use to feed there prisoners in the gulag's a grass mush meal. Looks like a lot but it had on nutritional value and it didn't fill you up. Our President"s speeches are the same – nothing to sustain you with but empty words.

    September 23, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Idiot_Pelosi


    IRAN and NK know that OBUMMER is weak and doesn't back up his talk. They will ignore him, then what?

    OK MR VAGUE and GENERALATIES, what's your timeline for compliance?

    September 23, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. coffic

    What Obama just can't get through his head is that he must say, "Iran and N. Korea must today, literally, open their countries to inspectors who will vigilantly search for and watch as the countries dismantle their nuclear capabilities. Inspectors will remain in their countries for the next 40 years."

    September 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Nate, Oly WA

    I just don't get some people in this country. Folks are you complaining because Pres Obama doesn't have "huptaz". With all your hatred of him, from "He's not American" to "He's a liar" to "Where's his birth certificate" to "He's a socialist" to "I'm not sending my kid to school to be indoctrinated by him". How is the world supposed to respect him/US if you slander him every chance you get?

    September 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    So exactly how is Obama going to 'hold them accountable'? More meaningless UN resolutions? He had similar words when he warned North Koreas not to test any more missiles. Well they tested a bunch as well as a second nuke. Barry's response? He's 'monitoring the situation'.

    September 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. J.P.

    "President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Iran and North Korea "must be held accountable" if they continue to ignore international nuclear weapons treaties."

    Like a British police officer, Obama said, "Halt! Or I shall be forced to cry 'Halt!' again!"

    When dealing with thugs, dictators and terrorists (which describes 90% of the of the U.N.), I'd rather be feared than popular. Power and force are the only things thugs, dictators and terrorists actually respect. Thugs around the world chuckle at Obama's pretty words, and then continue on with their business.

    September 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Dutch/BAd Newz, VA

    Great statement Mr. President. They need to be held accountable and stop getiing slaps on the wrist.

    September 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. patLI, NY

    Hmmm, so Obama is weak with NK and Iran? Gee, even Bush, with his Axis of Evil nonsense, couldn't stop NK from detonating its first Nuke! What was his response? More fist pounding and reiterating his Axis of Evil speech. The fact is president, from any party, is ready to deal with countries like NK and Iran because the cost would be immense in life and money...and unless Americans are ready to sacrifice, both their sons, daughters, and money, and pay dearly in new taxes to fund a war with NK, then all those calling Obama week on this issue need shut up, or be the first to enlist!

    September 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Brain Dead in Ohio

    This is neat. I had no idea that everyone who posted on here were military strategists and political experts. This is great news! With so many correct opinions in the US alone, it's a wonder we have any problems.

    Why didn't we think of this before? Just use broad generalizations to fix a problem. Like bomb North Korea, that'll show 'em!

    If they don't comply just torture their citizens and our detainees. That worked in Iraq, look how peaceful it is there.

    Yep, no doubt about it, Bush was right. We are all better off now, everyone is prosporous and happy.

    Man, if only conservatives could run every thing all the time. There would be absolutely no problems at all. Who needs intelligent solutions when you have gut instinct and self-righteous indignation?

    September 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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