President Obama held his first formal news conference of the year at the White House. Questions from the press covered the situation in the Middle East, gas prices, immigration reform, the NATO summit in Chicago and the GOP Presidential race.
The President announced a new mortgage assistance program. He also discussed a new agreement with major mortgage lenders that will compensate some veterans and service members who were wrongfully foreclosed on or denied the ability to refinance.
He addressed current situation with Iran's nuclear arms development and said, "the world is unified against Iran." He also mentioned that the current sanctions against Iran are having a "crippling effect" in that country.
Responding to reporter's questions, Pres. Obama called the situation in Syria "heart breaking" and said that current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost the trust of it's people. He rejected the idea of deploying military troops into the region before attempting negotiations.