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President Trump and former President Obama. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The suspected leaker of confidential cables from Britain's ambassador to the U.S. has been identified, the Sunday Times reports, as fresh leaks to the Mail on Sunday claim President Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to "spite" predecessor Barack Obama.

Details: The latest leak shows Kim Darroch, who resigned Wednesday, expressed his thoughts on the Iran situation to then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative Party leader. He wrote that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 agreement for "personality reasons" as it was the former president's pact.

"The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama's deal.
"Moreover, they can't articulate any 'day-after' strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region."
— Leaked Kim Darroch memo

The big picture: British Police said Friday they had launched a criminal investigation into the source of the leaks. The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed British government source as saying that the suspected leaker had been identified and investigators had ruled out that the leak was the result of a computer hack by a foreign state.

  • The Sunday Times reported that Member of European Parliament Richard Tice, the chairman of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, was implicated in the leaks scandal as he's dating Isabel Oakeshott, the Mail on Sunday journalist who's been writing the Darroch articles.

What they’re saying: Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu's warned journalists not to report on leaked diplomatic memos — prompting criticisms from Johnson and his leadership rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the BBC reports. Johnson said it's right for the leaker to be "hunted down and prosecuted," but it's wrong for police to target the media, according to the BBC.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

This article has been updated with more details, including comment from Johnson and Hunt.

Go deeper: What ambassadors say about Trump

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.