DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Across Iran, the hopefulness that followed the 2015 nuclear deal has been replaced by a rising hard-line fever with President Donald Trump's decision to pull America from the accord.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.
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 - A Yemen rebel drone strike this week on a critical Saudi oil pipeline shows that the otherwise-peaceful sandy reaches of the Arabian Peninsula now are at risk of similar assault, including an under-construction nuclear power plant and Dubai International Airport, among the world's busiest. U.N. investigators said the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 km (930 miles). That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two main opponents of the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, within reach of drones difficult to detect and track. Their relatively simple design, coupled with readily available information online, makes targeting even easier, analysts say. "These installations are easily findable, like on Google Earth," said Tim Michetti, an expert on illicit weapons technology with experience in Yemen.
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran says it has restarted production at a "major" uranium facility involved in its nuclear program, though it still pledges to follow the terms of the country's landmark atomic deal now under threat after President Donald Trump pulled America out of the accord. Iranian comments about the Isfahan plant, which produces material needed to make enriched uranium, appear aimed at pressuring Europeans and others to come up with a way to circumvent new American sanctions. Already, many international organizations are pulling back from promised billion-dollar deals with Tehran and the country's currency has entered a free-fall against the dollar. What comes next likely will resemble Iran's response to previous confrontation with the West over its contested atomic program. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said in a statement late Wednesday that it reopened a plant that converts yellowcake, a uranium powder, into uranium hexafluoride gas.