Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said Thursday that she would re-enter the Iran nuclear deal and end sanctions in response to Iran's involvement in drone attack against Saudi Arabia oil facilities if she was president. "What I would do is, I would re-enter the Iran nuclear deal to prevent Iran from continuing to move forward in building a nuclear weapon that puts us and the world further at risk," Gabbard said on "The Story with Martha MacCallum." Every day that we don't do this, every day we continue down this failed strategy Iran gets closer and closer to a nuclear weapon. U.S. officials told Fox News on Tuesday that Iranian cruise missiles and drones were both used in the attack on the two Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and that they were fired from inside southwest Iran this past weekend. Gabbard called the attack a "retaliation" against "extreme sanctions."
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The star of a live television interview in Iran's new nuclear workshop wasn't the head of the country's atomic agency, but three centrifuges labeled in English in the background, advanced devices Tehran is prohibited from using by the nuclear deal with world powers. The placement of the centrifuges, identified as IR-2M, IR-4 and IR-6, may have served as a subtle warning to Europe as it tries to salvage the atomic accord after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from it and restore U.S. sanctions. In recent days Iranian officials from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on down have vowed to boost the country's uranium enrichment capacity. The moves they have outlined would not violate the 2015 nuclear accord, but would allow Iran to quickly ramp up enrichment if the agreement unravels. "I think they've been quite clear in saying that if the U.S. pulls out and the EU doesn't live up to its side of the deal, it will rapidly increase its enrichment capacity," said Ian Stewart, the head of a nuclear proliferation study called Project Alpha at King's College London.
Both the UAE and neighboring Saudi Arabia remain highly suspicious of the nuclear deal, which saw economic sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for it limiting its enrichment of uranium. The two Gulf Arab countries say that new money flowing into Iran has aided its ability to back Shiite militias in Iraq and support embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Across Iran, the hopefulness that followed the 2015 nuclear deal has been replaced by a rising hard-line fever with President Donald Trump's decision to pull America from the accord. From lawmakers burning a paper U.S. flag on the floor of parliament to public opinion swaying toward restarting higher uranium enrichment, Iran is seeing a political swing threatening the Western rapprochement once sought by President Hassan Rouhani. That's not to say Iran wants the deal to end. After Trump's announcement, Rouhani quickly sent his foreign minister to the other countries party to the accord for talks in order to save lucrative business contracts already in hand. But if the Islamic Republic feels there's no chance of salvaging the deal, jumpstarting the nuclear program remains within reach.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The energy-rich Arab nation of Qatar says its ruling emir received a letter from the king of Saudi Arabia. The letter marks the highest-level, publicly known contact between the two nations since the kingdom and three other nations began boycotting it nearly two years ago. Qatar's Foreign Ministry late Sunday said the letter from King Salman to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani requested Doha's presence at an emergency summit being held in Mecca later this week over alleged sabotage of ships off the United Arab Emirates and a drone attack by Yemen's rebels on a Saudi oil pipeline amid U.S.-Iran tensions. Qatar did not say whether it would attend the meeting. Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been boycotting Qatar over a political dispute since June 2017.