Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.