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Article published September 24, 2012
Obama urges UN to confront violence in Muslim world
UNITED NATIONS — President Barack Obama told world leaders today that attacks on U.S. citizens in Libya “were attacks on America,” and he called on them to join in confronting the root causes of the rage across the Muslim world. “I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism,” Obama said in a speech to the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly. Obama also condemned the anti-Muslim video that helped spark the recent attacks, calling it “cruel and disgusting.” But he strongly defended the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the freedom of expression, “even views that we profoundly disagree with.” With U.S. campaign politics shadowing every word, Obama also warned that time to peacefully curb the Iranian nuclear crisis is running out. He said there is “still time and space” to resolve the issue through diplomacy. But that time is not unlimited.” “Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the unraveling of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty,” he said.