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Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the possibility that Iran is preparing for "a rapid nuclear breakout" in a Thursday statement, highlighting the escalating crisis between Iran and the rest of the international community.

Why it matters: Since President Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal last year and engage in a pressure campaign against the country, the Iranian government took steps to reduce their commitment to the 2015 deal.

  • Those steps were paired with Iranian attacks against U.S allies in the region — namely, the missile attack on the Saudi oil facilities in September — alongside Iran's rejection of proposals by European leaders to renew talks with the U.S. for a new deal.
  • Pompeo's statement stressed that the U.S. will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, adding, "It is now time for all nations to take serious steps to increase pressure."

The state of play: Yesterday, Iran renewed uranium enrichment with more than 1,000 centrifuges at its underground fortified nuclear facility in Fordow.

  • This was a breach of the 2015 nuclear deal, which banned Iran from enriching uranium at the facility and compelled the Iranians to turn it into a physics research center.    

What's happening: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held an emergency board meeting in Vienna today to discuss the ongoing investigation around a suspicious nuclear facility at Turkuz-Abad, near Tehran.

  • The facility was exposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a speech at the UN in September 2018. Netanyahu called it "The Nuclear Warehouse," while Iran claimed it was a rug cleaning factory. I reported in July that UN inspectors found traces of nuclear material at the site.
  • During the IAEA meeting, member states were briefed that the Iranians were still evading UN inspectors' questions on the issue and are not cooperating.
  • The IAEA's acting director general Cornel Feruta told board members that Iran should provide "full and timely cooperation and promptly respond to the Agency’s questions in order to resolve the matter."

The latest: Netanyahu said in a statement today that world powers need to “snap back” UN security council sanctions on Iran.

“Iran continues to lie. The IAEA has confirmed that Iran is has been violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran continues to hide its secret nuclear weapons program."
— Netanyahu

Go deeper: Netanyahu exposes what he claims to be a nuclear weapons site in Iran

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
45 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Japan vows deeper emissions cuts ahead of White House summit

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan on Thursday said it will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030, per the AP and other outlets.

Why it matters: The country is the world's fifth-largest largest carbon dioxide emitter and a major consumer of coal, oil and natural gas.

The global race to regulate AI

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Regulators in Europe and Washington are racing to figure out how to govern business' use of artificial intelligence while companies push to deploy the technology.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, the EU revealed a detailed proposal on how AI should be regulated, banning some uses outright and defining which uses of AI are deemed "high-risk."

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.