Nuclear program of Iran

Judge orders Iran pay $180 million in damages for detaining Washington Post reporter

Jason Rezaian talks at a podium.
Journalist Jason Rezaian. Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Iranian government to pay journalist Jason Rezaian $180 million in damages for his 18-month detention, saying he was used as leverage in diplomatic talks with the U.S. in 2014, the Washington Post reports.

Flashback: Rezaian was a Washington Post correspondent in Tehran when Iranian authorities took him and his wife into custody amid U.S.-Iran nuclear talks. While she was released two months thereafter, Rezaian was let go in Jan. 2016 as part of a prisoner swap between the two nations on the same day the nuclear agreement was implemented.

Pompeo warns of possible Iranian nuclear "breakout" as tensions escalate

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.