Obama at U.N. Talks 5 Minutes About YouTube Video, 1.5 Minutes on Iran

September 25, 2012 - 12:59 PM

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President Barack Obama speaks before the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama devoted 5 minutes of his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to a YouTube trailer that insulted Islam and 1 minute and 32 seconds talking about the threat of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.

President Obama made his first reference to what he called a “crude and disgusting video” at 11 minutes and 33 seconds into his speech. The video, which is a YouTube trailer for a shoddy film made by a man in southern California, has been blamed by the Obama administration for protests in the Middle East and North Africa.

“In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others,” Obama said.

“That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world,” he said.  “I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion.”

Obama continued to cite the video for 5 minutes.  “I know there are some who ask why we don't just ban such a video,” he said.  “The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.”

The president’s discussion of the video concluded at 16 minutes and 35 seconds into his speech.  “Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not, and will not, seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad, and we do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue,” he said.

“Nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks, or the hateful speech by some individuals, represents the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims -- any more than the views of the people who produced this video represent those of Americans,” Obama added.

UN General Assembly Iran

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the high level meeting on rule of law in the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Obama’s first mention of Iran came at 24 minutes and 37 seconds into his 32 minute-long speech.  “In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads,” he said.

“The Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history, and many Iranians wish to enjoy peace and prosperity alongside their neighbors,” Obama said.  “But just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the Iranian government props up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad. Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.”

“Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” he said.  “It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable.”

Obama ended his remarks on Iran at 26 minutes and 9 seconds, saying, “And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”