Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:28 pm
By Eyder Peralta
During an address at the White House, today, President Obama said that he spoke on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
That detail is important in understanding just how serious the negotiations between the two countries have gotten. That talk was the first time the heads of states of the two countries have spoken directly since 1979.
President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."
He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."
No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."
While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.
The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro on what President Obama will tell the U.N.
Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Leaders Will Not Meet:
After intense speculation that the United States and Iran were on the verge of making history today by coordinating a meeting between President Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there came word this afternoon that the two would not meet during the ceremonies surrounding the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.