It took a special, meticulous kind of person to accomplish the undertaking, someone with brains, patience, and nerves of steel.
The undertaking is massive: In January 2014 alone, Iran has executed more than 90 citizens.
Under these circumstances, the kind of unilateral executive action Obama is undertaking will become more and more common.
c.1200, "to entrap," in the same sense as Old English underniman (cf. Dutch ondernemen, German unternehmen), of which it is a partial loan-translation, from under + take. Cf. also French entreprendre "to undertake," from entre "between, among" + prendre "to take." The under in this word may be the same one that also may form the first element of understand. Meaning "to accept" is attested from mid-13c.; that of "to take upon oneself, to accept the duty of" is from c.1300.