WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to veto any new bill by lawmakers to impose new sanctions against Iran in the middle of delicate negotiations to rein in its nuclear program.
“The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible. But let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it. For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” Obama said, in his State of the Union address.
The United States has turned a corner after struggling to escape the economic downturn and is poised for recovery, President Barack Obama declared.
“That´s why I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America,” he said. “After five years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better-positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth.”
Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, challenging legislators to help reverse deepening income disparity across the country. “Say yes. Give America a raise,” Obama told Congress.
Noting that the current national minimum of $7.25 an hour was effectively 20 percent lower than it was a quarter-century ago, he announced an executive order requiring government contractors to pay their workers at least $10.10 an hour.
He urged the legislature to support a bill already proposed that would hike the national base rate to that level.
“This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend,” he said.
The threat from US arch foe Al-Qaeda is evolving and taking root in new places around the world, US President Barack Obama warned.
“In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks.”
Obama added the United States had put “Al-Qaeda´s core leadership on the path to defeat.” (AFP)