U.S. President Barack Obama: Nuclear Nonproliferation is One of the Main Goals

U.S. President Barack Obama at a White House press conference declared the importance of joint U.S. - Russian leadership in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation: "One of my goals is to prevent nuclear proliferation generally. I think that it's important for the United States, in concert with Russia, to lead the way on this. And, you know, I've mentioned this in conversations with the Russian President, Mr. Medvedev, to let him know that it is important for us to restart the conversations about how we can start reducing our nuclear arsenals in an effective way so that - so that we then have the standing to go to other countries and start stitching back together the nonproliferation treaties that, frankly, have been weakened over the last several years."

Obama confirmed that his administration was in the process of "evaluating" the country's foreign policies toward Iran and would look at the possibility of using "direct diplomacy" with the Iranian government. "My expectation is that in the coming months we will be looking for openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table, face to face, diplomatic overtures that will allow us to move our policy in a new direction," said Obama.

The President also stressed that in his opinion "there's the possibility of a relationship built on mutual respect and progress" between USA and Iran. "And it's important that even as we engage in this direct diplomacy, we are very clear about certain deep concerns that we have as a country - that Iran understands that we find the funding of terrorist organizations unacceptable; that we are clear about the fact that a nuclear Iran could set off a nuclear arms race in the region that would be profoundly destabilizing," stated Obama.