Iran to be major topic at UN: White House

US leader heads to NY next week to attend annual General Assembly Session.

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 10:56 AM IST

Washington: As US President Barack Obama heads to New York next week to attend the annual General Assembly Session of the United Nations, the White House said Iran would be a major topic of discussion when he meets the world leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

"Iran will certainly be a big topic, obviously," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

"There are a series of bilateral meetings, some of which will and some of which probably won`t touch on the topic of Iran. I don`t doubt that that is going to be some part of what is discussed," Gibbs said.

"I think it is likely that the President... when he travels to New York next week, it will be as a President who has I think moved one important step closer to passing a ratified START treaty through the Senate to reduce nuclear weapons here and in Russia," he said.

Gibbs said the US wants Iran to release the other two hikers.

"My message to the Iranian government, though, would be the same the President had yesterday, and that is, there are still two remaining hikers that have committed no crime in custody and detained in Iran," he said.

"There`s absolutely no reason that those two shouldn`t be immediately released by the Iranian government," Gibbs said.

PTI