Wednesday, September 26, 2012

West turns up heat on Iran and Syria at UN

WESTERN and Arab leaders have ramped up the pressure on Syria and Iran at the United Nations, as US President Barack Obama vowed to keep Tehran from getting its hands on nuclear weapons.

The United States, France and Qatar led the charge on Tuesday as the West and its allies attempted to use the UN General Assembly to win support for tougher international action against the Middle East's twin pariah regimes.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon set the tone, condemning the bloodshed in Syria, where the beleaguered regime is battling an armed revolt and subjecting its citizens to what the UN peace envoy dubbed "medieval forms of torture."

Under pressure from his domestic rivals to take a tough stance, Obama went further, declaring: "The regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin."

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, a key supporter of the Syrian opposition, called for an Arab military intervention. Read More