In spite of right wing nay-saying about President Obama’s first appearance as president at the opening of the UN General Assembly, it’s obvious that he made great gains there. He convinced Russia to consider tough new sanctions against Iran and got support form Moscow and Beijing for Security Council resolution to curb nuclear weapons.
The successes came as Mr. Obama told leaders that the United States intended to begin a new era of engagement with the world, in a sweeping address to the General Assembly in which he sought to clearly delineate differences between himself and the administration of President George W. Bush.
Reorienting our missile defense system seemed to help.
With a beaming Mr. Obama standing next to him, Mr. Medvedev signaled for the first time that Russia would be amenable to longstanding American requests to toughen sanctions against Iran significantly if, as expected, nuclear talks scheduled for next month failed to make progress.
The United States’ new tone in international relations is clearly accruing benefits.
“We have re-engaged the United Nations,” Mr. Obama said, to cheers from world leaders and delegates in the cavernous hall. “We have paid our bills” — a direct reference to the former administration’s practice of withholding some payment due the world body while it pressed for changes there.