In his address to the United Nations in New York City Monday morning, President Obama defended his administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran in the vein of 'international togetherness.'
The president said he is “mindful” of the dangers we face because they cross his desk every morning.
“I will never hesitate to protect our country, unilaterally or by force when necessary,” he said.
Yet, these dangers, he insisted, cannot be faced alone.
“But I believe in my core, we cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backwards. We cannot turn back those forces of integration.”
Instead of acting in isolation, Obama said the United States often needs to rely on its friends.
“If we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences,” he said.
“No matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy, we understand the US cannot solve the world’s problems alone.”
The president said the power of international unity was best demonstrated during the administration's nuclear agreement with Iran.
Before the deal was drafted, the United States and its allies placed sanctions on Iran to “test” whether Iran could change course and that its nuclear program would be “peaceful.”
“For two years, international partners stuck together in complex negotiations,” he said. “The result is a lasting, comprehensive deal.”
“A potential war is averted,” he said. “Our world is safer. That is the strength of the international system when it works the way it should.”
Obama continued to stress the need for global unity while addressing Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis, specifically the annexation of Crimea. The president said they don’t want to isolate the country, but they want a strong Russia “working with us.”
The president is likely to expand on this topic when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the meeting of the nations later today.
The president’s first applause was received when he addressed America’s new warming relationship with Cuba, which includes the opening of air travel between the two nations.