Executive orders

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U.S. increases pressure on Iran with slate of nuclear sanctions

Mike Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

The State and Treasury departments on Friday sanctioned 31 entities — 17 organizations and 14 people — with ties to Iran's Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), a previously sanctioned research center that was involved in Tehran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Why it matters: The designation was pursuant to an executive order signed in 2005 that laid out penalties for those involved in the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The U.S. has used the order to target Iran's ballistic missile program, but these are the first nuclear-specific designations since the Iran nuclear deal entered into force in January 2016.

Scoop: The White House triangulation plan

Triangulation plan
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Senior Trump administration officials are crafting a plan ahead of the president's re-election bid that sounds like a blend of Bill Clinton's "triangulation" and Barack Obama's "pen and a phone."

The big picture: The plan — which acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and policy staff are developing, and which is in its early stages — would have Trump sign a series of executive orders on issues including education, drug pricing, the opioid epidemic and veterans affairs. Aides say the moves would appeal to Democrats and Republicans.

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