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Obama Pledging Lasting Peace, Iran Diplomacy

By: JTA

President Obama pledged to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb and to “stand steadfast” with Israel in his State of the Union speech.

“The leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon,” Obama said Tuesday evening.

Obama also said he would continue to back democratization throughout the Middle East.

“And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace,” he added. “These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month.”

Much of Obama’s speech was devoted to job creation proposals, particularly involving infrastructure building, and reducing the deficit through spending cuts and tax reform.

He also focused on other signature second term issues, including immigration reform, addressing climate change, and bringing about new gun controls.

Survivors of shootings and relatives of fatalities were guests of the Obamas at the State of the Union.

Urging Congress to at least bring gun control laws to a vote, he singled out among others Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head in January 2011 in an assault that claimed six lives.

Giffords was present at the speech with her husband, Mark Kelley.

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