Jun 10, 2019

Iran foreign minister: U.S. "cannot expect to stay safe" after sanctions

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.

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 18 mins ago - World

Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 31 mins ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy