May 31, 2019

UN atomic watchdog: Iran's centrifuge use increases

The UN atomic watchdog said on Friday that Iran remains within the boundaries of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, however, red-flagged the increasing production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and heavy water, the AP reports.

The backdrop: Iran is at risk of breaking the nuclear deal if it exceeds LEU stockpile restrictions outlined in the accord. Last month, Iran threatened to increase its uranium enrichment if it couldn't shield itself from U.S. sanctions.

  • Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for Iran’s nuclear agency, said earlier this month that the increase in LEU production does not mean that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges in use, another requirement of the deal.

The big picture: Since President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal a year ago, the administration has been pursuing harsh sanctions and declared that the pressure will only increase until Iran’s regime changes course, or collapses.

Go deeper: Iran quadruples production rate of low-enriched uranium

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include new developments reported by AP. The UN watchdog is now raising questions about whether Iran is complying with key provisions to limit the nation's use of advanced centrifuges.

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Trump to install loyalist Ric Grenell as acting intelligence chief

Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

President Trump confirmed in a tweet Wednesday night that he will install Richard Grenell, the current U.S. ambassador to Germany and a staunch defender of the president, as the acting director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: The role, which was originally vacated by Dan Coats in August 2019, is one of grave responsibility. As acting DNI, Grenell will be charged with overseeing and integrating the U.S. intelligence community and will advise the president and the National Security Council on intelligence matters that concern national security.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What to watch in the Nevada debate

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Cengiz Yardages and Mario Tama/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's wealth will fuel rather than shield him from tests and attacks when he makes his Democratic primary debate debut on the stage tonight in Las Vegas.

The state of play: Bernie Sanders is still the front-runner. So the other candidates must weigh which of the two presents a bigger threat to their viability: Sanders, with his combined delegate, polling and grassroots momentum? Or Bloomberg, with his bottomless budget?

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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