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Iran drops key nuclear deal pledges, may increase uranium enrichment

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during a speech.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iran will suspend some of its nuclear deal commitments and resume higher uranium enrichment if new terms for the agreement aren't reached within 60 days, President Hassan Rouhani told state television Wednesday.

Details: Exactly 1 year on from President Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, Rouhani sent letters outlining a partial withdrawal from the 2015 deal to ambassadors of Britain, China, the European Union, France and Germany, state-run Tasnim news agency reported. Those nations were still committed to the existing deal.

Why it matters: The announcement comes amid escalating tensions between Iran and the United States. On Sunday, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the Pentagon was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to Iran to send "a clear and unmistakable message."

The big picture: The Trump administration has been working to starve the Iranian regime of cash and chill the country's growth, Axios' Jonathan Swan notes. Trump is set to announce new sanctions against the country, per Swan.

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