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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

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.