Maas (L) with Zarif. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued a vague threat today, declaring that the U.S. "cannot expect to stay safe" after starting an “economic war” with Tehran.

Context: Zarif’s remarks came during a visit from his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, who called U.S.-Iran tensions “highly explosive and extremely serious.” Zarif also said Iran would continue to work with Europe to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • Iran is furious that economic benefits promised under the deal have been wiped out by U.S. sanctions. Maas said Europe couldn't perform "miracles,” but would do its best. He said the “special purpose vehicle” designed to facilitate transactions would be ready “in the foreseeable future.”
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meanwhile, is expected to arrive in Tehran on Wednesday on a tensions-reduction mission that's supported by Trump.
  • Qatar is also attempting to mediate between Washington and Tehran. The Gulf state’s foreign minister called yesterday for “compromises by both parties.”

What to watch: The IAEA nuclear watchdog said today that Iran was increasing its production of enriched uranium. Tehran has said it won't observe restrictions on enrichment after July 7 absent a breakthrough.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
16 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

Meadows on Wray's voter fraud dismissal: "He has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI"

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows dismissed FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony that the U.S. has never historically seen evidence of widespread voter fraud, including by mail, during an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday.

Why it matters: Meadows' statement highlights the Trump administration's strategy to sow doubt in November's election results by challenging the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which are expected to skew heavily in Democrats' favor.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!