White House national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House national security adviser John Bolton blamed Iran Wednesday for attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this month and accused Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons, AP reports.

Details: Bolton told reporters in Abu Dhabi there’s "no reason" for Iran to back out of the nuclear deal and seek higher enrichment unless it is "to reduce the breakout time to produce nuclear weapons," per AP.

The big picture: Bolton also said — without offering evidence — it was "clear" the tanker attacks "were naval mines almost certainly from Iran," according to Reuters. Iran has denied involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by the Houthis in Yemen.

Why it matters: U.S. officials have previously made repeated but unspecific claims of possible impending Iranian attacks. Both U.S. and Iranian officials have said they don't want war. President Trump said Monday he supported Japanese efforts to potentially open a dialogue between the U.S. and Iran.

The other side: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Monday that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "long ago said we're not seeking nuclear weapons — by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them."

  • Zarif attacked Trump's administration — which he called the "B team." He said imposing sanctions on Iran were "hurting the Iranian people & causing tension in the region. Actions — not words — will show whether or not that's [Trump's] intent."

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Coronavirus squeezes the "sandwich generation"

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As the coronavirus poses risks and concerns for the youngest and oldest Americans, the generations in the middle are buckling under the increasing strain of having to take care of both.

Why it matters: People that make up the so-called sandwich generations are typically in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and in their prime working years. The increasing family and financial pressures on these workers means complications for employers, too.

Why Scranton matters again in 2020

Biden and Clinton visit Biden's childhood home in Scranton in 2016. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The hometown of Joe Biden and "The Office" is polishing its perennial status as a guidepost for the nation's political mood.

Driving the news: Biden returns to Scranton, Pa., today with a campaign stop just outside the city limits at a metalworking plant, where he'll deliver remarks on a plan to create jobs and "help America build back better."

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 12,051,561 — Total deaths: 549,735 — Total recoveries — 6,598,230Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 3,055,144 — Total deaths: 132,309 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,532,612Map.
  3. 2020: Houston mayor cancels Texas Republican convention.
  4. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  5. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  6. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.