Obama to address UN over Iran nuclear weapons

  • U.S. President Barack Obama is to warn the UN General Assembly the U.S. will "do what we must" to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

    The Middle East is likely to dominate the summit in New York with the president to give one of the opening speeches on Tuesday.

    With six weeks to go before the November 6 U.S. presidential elections, Obama is expected to say that a nuclear-armed Iran "is not a challenge that can be contained", according to excerpts from his speech released by the White House.

    In his address, Obama will pledge that "the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," with the backing of "a coalition of countries" holding Tehran accountable.

    The White House has stated that the president's address is not a campaign speech, though it does follow criticism of his foreign policy by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

    Romney slated his Democratic rival him not making the time to hold talks on Iran during the summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Netanyahu recently appeared on American television, pushing for a tougher stance on Iran. He is set to share the same message with the General Assembly on Thursday.

    Obama rejected the Israeli leader's calls for Washington to set Tehran "red lines".