He also issued a direct video appeal to the people of Iran, saying his "administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community."
"This process will not be advanced by threats," he added. "We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."
On the stimulus front, the president said that he had issued a directive for new federal guidelines that explain what constitutes an acceptable use of taxpayer dollars – and that requests from lobbyists to talk to members of his administration about Recovery Act projects would be posted on the Internet.
"Decisions about how Recovery money will be spent will be based on the merits," he said. "They will not be made as a way of doing favors for lobbyists."
The president also met with Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ed Rendell and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to talk about infrastructure revitalization. The trio say they are "one hundred percent" the president's efforts on the issue.
He also saw the end of a tough week that included a verbal gaffe during an appearance on late-night television.