Apr 22, 2018

Ahead of looming deadline, Merkel defends Iran deal

Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended the international Iran nuclear deal in an interview with Israeli TV, saying that while she understands Israel’s “great worries,” a partial framework is better than no agreement at all, AP reports.

Why it matters: Her defense comes ahead of a May 12 deadline, which President Trump set to withdraw from the agreement unless the deal's other major European signatories — Germany, France, and the United Kingdom — agree to enact "significant changes.”

What they're saying: Merkel reportedly told Israel TV’s Channel 10 that Germany will monitor developments "very closely to ensure that this agreement will be fulfilled.”

  • Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters that Trump's threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement were sending a "very dangerous message" to other countries negotiating with U.S. Zarif said that, should the U.S. withdraw from the deal, the ultimate consequences "won't be very pleasant to the United States."
  • French President Emmanuel Macron, who will arrive in Washington this week for the first official state visit hosted by Trump, told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday”: "I don't have any plan B for nuclear against Iran, so that's the question we will discuss."

The backstory: Under the Obama-era deal, which Trump has repeatedly blasted as flawed, Iran had agreed to put limits on parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

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Sanders requests recount of Iowa recanvass after results show shrunken margin

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night he will request a recount of the Iowa Democratic Party's recanvass results.

Where it stands: Both Buttigieg and Sanders requested partial recanvasses in Iowa last week after results were delayed and showed several errors following a software malfunction on caucus night.

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Energy deputy secretary nominee faces heat after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."