Nov 5, 2019

Iran to inject uranium gas in further break from nuclear deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks at parliament in the capital Tehran. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Tuesday Iran would "resume uranium enrichment" at its Fordow plant and begin injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges, Iranian state media reports.

Why it matters: The announcement coincided with the first anniversary of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. Axios contributor Barak Ravid notes the announced plans are a substantial breach of Iran's nuclear deal.

  • "In the nuclear deal Iran committed to stop enrichment at Fordow and turn the facility to a reaserach center," Ravid said, noting it's the first time Iran has undertaken enrichment at Fordow since the 2015 deal.

The big picture: Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the policy institute the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, notes in an article for Axios that the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign "escalated further last week with new State Department findings that link the country's construction sector to its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps."

  • On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement the U.S. had imposed sanctions on nine people connected to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

What they're saying: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox Business Network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" Monday after Iran announced an operation involving 60 more centrifuges that the sanctions on Iran were "having a real impact and we need to continue to press."

Go deeper: Expanding U.S. pressure campaign on Iran could reach a tipping point

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external lights at the White House were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators in the United States.

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A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").