May 20, 2019

Report: Iran quadruples production rate of low-enriched uranium

President Trump after signing a National Security Presidential Memorandum and announcing the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal. Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images

Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium as of Monday, AP reports, citing Iranian news agencies.

The backdrop: This follows a tweet President Trump posted on Sunday, cautioning that Iran would face its "official end," should the nation threaten the U.S. again. The deepening conflict follows Trump's decision a year ago to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Both Washington and Tehran claim not to want war, however the Trump administration announced deployments of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over unspecified Iranian threats earlier in May.

Details: The uranium reportedly has only been enriched to the 3.67% cap established in the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran could soon exceed the stockpile restrictions outlined in the accord. Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for Iran’s nuclear agency, said the increase in production does not mean Iran increased the number of centrifuges in use, another requirement of the deal, per AP.

Go deeper: Why war with Iran is suddenly on the table

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.