n a highly anticipated address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday morning, President Obama delved into the violence that has raged in recent weeks across the Middle East, and urged the international community not to lose heart. The violence — triggered in large part by a low-budget anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. — is "an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded," Obama said. "If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of this crisis, because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes we hold in common." Obama also honored the late Chris Stevens — America's ambassador to Libya, who was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 — saying that "our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers." The president was also careful not to call for the suppression of anti-Islam speech, arguing that "the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech." He also insisted once again that Iran abandon its nuclear ambitions, implying that the threat of Western military intervention is real. "America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so," the president said. "But that time is not unlimited."
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