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The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Photo: IIPA via Getty Images

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday the country would break within hours the limit on uranium enrichment set in the 2015 nuclear deal, BBC reports.

Details: Araghchi said Iran would start enriching uranium above the 3.67% limit to provide fuel for its Bushehr power plant, according to BBC, which reported that officials said this would mean a concentration of about 5%.

"This is to protect the nuclear deal, not to nullify it. This is an opportunity for talks. And if our partners fail to use this opportunity they should not doubt our determination to leave the deal."
— Araghchi

Why it matters: Iran has already admitted breaching the deal. It said last week its stockpile of low-enriched uranium crossed 300 kilograms (661 pounds) — the maximum amount it's allowed to hold under the 2015 nuclear deal, which has been in jeopardy since the U.S. withdrew from it.

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Tehran would start enriching uranium to "any amount we want" on July 7.

The big picture: Araghchi told a news conference Iran would scale back other commitments in 60 days if there's no progress in talks with European countries on the nuclear deal, according to Al Jazeera.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that France and Iran had agreed to explore by July 15 conditions to resume talks on the nuclear deal, per Euronews.
  • The situation between Iran and the United States remains tense. Last month, Iran shot down a U.S. drone. Trump called off retaliatory airstrikes at the last minute.

Go deeper: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

This article has been updated with more details, including fresh comment from Araghchi.

Go deeper

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.