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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east

Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061110425001_6061106756001-vs Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 94f4f23a-baff-5946-83ac-8ca8292f1f5e

A U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between the two countries, President Trump announced Thursday.

“The U.S. reserves the right to defend personnel, facilities, interests,” he said.

Trump said the USS Boxer took defensive action after the drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down. The president called it the latest “hostile” action by Iran.

He also called on other countries to condemn what he described as Iran’s attempts to disrupt the freedom of navigation and global commerce in the strategic waterway in the Persian Gulf region.

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman confirmed to Fox News in a statement: “At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz. A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.”

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The president said the drone threatened the safety of the American ship and its crew.

Iran recently shot down a U.S. drone that it said was flying over Iran. Trump called off a planned retaliatory airstrike at the last minute.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061110425001_6061106756001-vs Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 94f4f23a-baff-5946-83ac-8ca8292f1f5e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061110425001_6061106756001-vs Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 94f4f23a-baff-5946-83ac-8ca8292f1f5e

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US sailor on USS Abraham Lincoln goes overboard in Arabian Sea, search operation underway

A U.S. sailor went overboard Wednesday from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, prompting a search operation in the Arabian Sea, according to the Fifth Fleet.

The statement Thursday said two U.S. ships, a Spanish frigate and a Pakistani naval ship, are conducting a search-and-rescue operation.

IRAN ADMITS SEIZURE OF FOREIGN TANKER, 12 CREW MEMBERS IN STRAIT OF HORMUZ; US WARSHIP ENTERS PERSIAN GULF

The sailor, whose name was withheld in line with navy policy, has been missing since Wednesday.

The Abraham Lincoln was routed to the Arabian Sea in recent weeks in what U.S. officials say is a deterrence amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group uss-abraham-lincoln-2-AP US sailor on USS Abraham Lincoln goes overboard in Arabian Sea, search operation underway fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us fox-news/politics/defense fox news fnc/world fnc article 00a4716f-1891-5ad6-b474-4af254ac0adc   Westlake Legal Group uss-abraham-lincoln-2-AP US sailor on USS Abraham Lincoln goes overboard in Arabian Sea, search operation underway fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us fox-news/politics/defense fox news fnc/world fnc article 00a4716f-1891-5ad6-b474-4af254ac0adc

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Detained Iranian tanker will be released if oil isn’t bound for Syria, UK foreign secretary says

An Iranian oil tanker held by British forces near Gibraltar will be released if the United Kingdom is assured the oil will not be heading to Syria, London’s top diplomat said Saturday.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter that he had a “constructive call” with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, during which Hunt “reassured him [Zarif] our concern was destination not origin of the oil.”

Westlake Legal Group tanker-Grace-1-Reuters Detained Iranian tanker will be released if oil isn't bound for Syria, UK foreign secretary says fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc David Aaro article 97a90140-22e2-53e2-ad6a-9c7a62103c17

A British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1. (REUTERS/Jon Nazca )

Hunt added that the “U.K. would facilitate release if we received guarantees that it would not be going to Syria, following due process in Gib [Gibraltar] courts.”

CAR BOMB KILLS 2 NEAR TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER

The Iranian tanker Grace 1 was captured earlier this month on suspicion of breaking European Union sanctions, according to the BBC. The head of Gibraltar’s government said Friday the tanker was carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil.

Fabian Picardo told the country’s parliament that the ship is suspected of breaching European Union sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and that any nation with a claim to the vessel and its cargo can file a claim in court.

In addition to the tanker’s captain and chief officer arrested Thursday, Gibraltar police said they arrested the two second mates of the Panama-flagged tanker on Friday. The two are in custody and are assisting police with their inquiries, authorities said. All four are Indian citizens.

Westlake Legal Group 800-6 Detained Iranian tanker will be released if oil isn't bound for Syria, UK foreign secretary says fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc David Aaro article 97a90140-22e2-53e2-ad6a-9c7a62103c17

A Royal Marines vessel sails toward the Grace 1 super tanker off the British territory of Gibraltar July 4. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno)

Tensions between London and Tehran escalated Thursday after the British navy said it had three Iranian paramilitary vessels from disrupting the passage of a British oil tanker through the vital Strait of Hormuz.

BRITIAN WILL BE ‘SLAPPED IN THE FACE’ FOR SEIZURE OF IRANIAN TANKER, CLERIC SAYS.

The captain of HMS Montrose, a British frigate following the BP-owned tanker, was forced to move between the Iranian boats and the commercial vessel, a Ministry of Defense spokesman said. On Friday, the ministry said it was moving up its timetable to relieve the Montrose with the larger HMS Duncan destroyer in the wake of the recent developments.

“This will ensure that the UK alongside international partners can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping lane,” the ministry said.

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At the same time, Hunt called for “cool heads” to prevail to ensure there is no “unintended escalation.”

“We are being clear to Iran that we are not seeking to escalate this situation,” he said, adding that the British response had been “measured and careful.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group tanker-Grace-1-Reuters Detained Iranian tanker will be released if oil isn't bound for Syria, UK foreign secretary says fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc David Aaro article 97a90140-22e2-53e2-ad6a-9c7a62103c17   Westlake Legal Group tanker-Grace-1-Reuters Detained Iranian tanker will be released if oil isn't bound for Syria, UK foreign secretary says fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc David Aaro article 97a90140-22e2-53e2-ad6a-9c7a62103c17

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Britain will be ‘slapped in the face’ for seizure of Iranian tanker, cleric says

Britain will soon to get “slapped in the face” for last week’s capture of an Iranian supertanker, a cleric was quoted as saying Friday amid rising tensions between the two nations in the Gulf.

Cleric Kazem Sedghi, an adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told worshipers during Tehran’s Friday prayer sermon broadcast live on Iranian state TV that the United Kingdom should be worried for their actions off the coast of Gibraltar.

“Iran’s strong establishment will soon slap Britain in the face for daring to seize the Iranian oil tanker,” he said.

IRAN WARNS OF ‘REPERCUSSIONS’ FOLLOWING ‘MEAN AND WRONG’ SEIZURE OF OIL TANKER

Sedghi’s warning came after the Iranian government on Friday called Britain to immediately release the oil tanker that British Royal Marines seized last week on suspicious it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman accused London of playing a “dangerous game” a day after police in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain, said they arrested the captain and chief officer of the supertanker.

Abbs Mousavi told Iranian state news agency IRNA that “the legal pretexts for the capture are not valid … the release of the tanker is in all countries’ interest.”

“This is a dangerous game and has consequences,” he added.

BRITAIN’S SEIZURE OF IRANIAN OIL TANKER WON’T GO ‘UNANSWERED,’ OFFICER SAYS

Gibraltar has insisted its decision to detain the Iranian tanker was taken alone and not on orders from any government, despite a senior Spanish official previously saying the interception was carried out at the request of the United States.

“All relevant decisions in respect of this matter were taken only as a direct result of the government of Gibraltar having reasonable grounds to believe the vessel was acting in breach of established E.U. sanctions against Syria,” Fabian Picardo, the territory’s chief minister, told reporters. “There has been no political request at any time from any government that Gibraltar should act or not act on one basis or another.”

The detained vessel contained 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, he added.

TRUMP VOWS TO ‘SUBSTANTIALLY’ INCREASE SANCTIONS ON IRAN IN RESPONSE TO URANIUM ENRICHMENT

The British navy said Thursday it had stopped three Iranian paramilitary vessels from disrupting the passage of a British oil tanker through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf. The brief but tense standoff stemmed from the U.K.’s role in seizing the Iranian tanker.

Westlake Legal Group AP19192249186582 Britain will be ‘slapped in the face’ for seizure of Iranian tanker, cleric says Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 48499a60-3e26-57e5-b73c-ae0c67678583

In this image from file video provided by UK Ministry of Defence, British navy vessel HMS Montrose escorts another ship during a mission to remove chemical weapons from Syria at sea off the coast of Cyprus in February 2014. Five Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday but backed off after a British warship approached, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News. (AP/UK Ministry of Defence)

On Friday, the British Ministry of Defense said it was moving up its timetable for relieving the HMS Montrose, a frigate operating in the Persian Gulf, with the larger HMS Duncan destroyer in the wake of the recent developments.

“This will ensure that the UK alongside international partners can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping lane.”

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Iran recently began surpassing uranium enrichment limits set in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the accord a year ago. He also has re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports, exacerbating an economic crisis that has sent its currency plummeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19192249186582 Britain will be ‘slapped in the face’ for seizure of Iranian tanker, cleric says Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 48499a60-3e26-57e5-b73c-ae0c67678583   Westlake Legal Group AP19192249186582 Britain will be ‘slapped in the face’ for seizure of Iranian tanker, cleric says Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 48499a60-3e26-57e5-b73c-ae0c67678583

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$72M worth of radioactive element used in nuclear reactors reportedly seized in Turkey

Westlake Legal Group Californium $72M worth of radioactive element used in nuclear reactors reportedly seized in Turkey Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc e136803d-30da-534a-a14a-9d2236e4c592 article

Authorities in Turkey reportedly discovered $72 million worth of a radioactive element — used in nuclear reactors and found in the fallout of nuclear explosions — from a car.

The 18.1 grams of californium were seized in the northern Bolu province of the country, law enforcement officials said Saturday, according to the Daily Sabah. Five people were being investigated in regards to the incident.

PHOTOS SHOW INSIDE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR

The substance was seized by local anti-smuggling authorities and sent to the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority, officials said.

Californium is a rare, man-made radioactive element. First created in 1950 at the University of California at Berkeley, it’s used primarily in nuclear reactors. Only the U.S. and Russia have created californium.

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In March 2018, investigators seized what they thought was 1.4 kilograms of californium, but that find actually turned out to be a natural substance with no radioactivity.

Westlake Legal Group Californium $72M worth of radioactive element used in nuclear reactors reportedly seized in Turkey Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc e136803d-30da-534a-a14a-9d2236e4c592 article   Westlake Legal Group Californium $72M worth of radioactive element used in nuclear reactors reportedly seized in Turkey Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc e136803d-30da-534a-a14a-9d2236e4c592 article

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GOP senators urge Trump to reject Iran’s ‘nuclear blackmail,’ seek to ‘snapback’ sanctions at the UN

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6052239950001_6052234696001-vs GOP senators urge Trump to reject Iran's ‘nuclear blackmail,’ seek to ‘snapback’ sanctions at the UN fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/politics fnc ede746c0-f1b3-5000-8707-2b7c67be0da7 Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw

Three GOP senators this week urged President Trump to reject what they describe as Iran’s ‘nuclear blackmail’ in the wake of the rogue nation’s violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement — and highlighted the use of a mechanism in the U.N. resolution enshrining the deal that allows for a “snapback” of sanctions.

“Regime officials have signaled they intend to creep towards a nuclear weapon, while demanding concessions and promising to ‘reverse’ their violations if their demands are met,” Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a letter Tuesday. “We urge you to reject their nuclear blackmail.”

COTTON MOCKS IRAN OFFICIAL’S SANCTIONS COMPLAINT: WON’T BE ABLE TO SPEND IRANIANS’ MONEY IN ‘5-STAR RESTAURANTS’

Iran recently began stockpiling low-enriched uranium beyond agreed limits, in violation of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and have warned that more violations could soon be coming.

Given that it was United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 that endorsed the Obama-era deal, the Council could be the site of the next stage in deciding the embattled deal’s fate. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal last year, having described it as “the worst deal in history,” and the administration has since imposed waves of crippling economic sanctions on Tehran.

The senators urge Trump to invoke the so-called “snapback mechanism” in resolution 2231 that would restore sanctions on Iran’s uranium enrichment and missile development.

And while Security Council diplomats seek to work out how the U.S. will re-impose the sanctions given that it quit the deal last year, the letter from the senators notes that the U.N. resolution enables the original parties to the deal to revoke or snapback at any time.

“Paragraph 10 of the resolution defines the United States as a participant for the purpose of invoking the mechanism. We urge you to do so,” the senators wrote.

The lawmakers also call on the president to cease the use of “civil-nuclear waivers” that they say allows Iran to keep a nuclear status quo.

While there is another mechanism outside of the Security Council to deal with violations from the parties in the JCPOA, Tehran’s threats to enrich uranium mean the process of bringing the snapback mechanism into effect will sooner rather than later be tested.

From 2006 onwards the Council passed six resolutions that imposed severe sanctions on Iran in order to halt its nuclear ambitions by banning Iran from conducting nuclear research and developing ballistic missiles.

TRUMP VOWS IRAN CANNOT HAVE PATH TO NUKES, SAYS HE HOPES SANCTIONS SENT ‘MESSAGE’

The senators letter also claimed that the deal “was built to enable Iranian cheating” and allowed hundreds of billions of dollars to flow into regime coffers, “allowing the Iranians to boost its military and terrorist activities regionally and globally, even as they maintained nuclear weapons infrastructure, periodically exceeded restrictions on nuclear materials.”

“That’s how the deal was always supposed to work, that’s how it did work, and that’s why it is imperative that the United States now respond forcefully to Iran’s systematic violations by ending civil-nuclear waivers and invoking the U.N. snapback,” the senators argued.

It is unclear how such a move would be received by America’s European allies at the Security Council — who opposed the U.S. departure from the deal, and who have fought to keep the compact intact.

Behnam Ben Taleblu a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington D.C. told Fox News that if the snapback mechanism is used and resolution 2231 is done away with, “it would also mean the Rouhani government’s policy of playing both sides of the Atlantic against one another would have failed.”

A source familiar with the administration’s discussions on the use of snapback told Fox News that there are ongoing interagency talks happening now about using the mechanism.

An indication of the interagency discussions came earlier in the week from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose statement on Iran’s violation called on the international community to restore its longstanding requirement of not allowing any uranium enrichment for the regime’s nuclear program in light of Iran’s latest violation.

His statement pulled no punches as he noted that “no nuclear deal should ever allow the Iranian regime to enrich uranium at any level. Starting in 2006, the United Nations Security Council passed six resolutions requiring the regime to suspend all enrichment activity. It was the right standard then; it is the right standard now.”

A senior GOP congressional staffer told Fox News: “Snapback is quickly becoming the only game in town, now that Iran has violated the deal.”

The staffer told Fox that, even though the U.S. left the deal, the administration still has every right per the resolution to put the snapback mechanism into play.

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“There’s no technical reason the Trump administration can’t just do it and quickly restore the international sanctions from before the deal,” the staffer stated, adding that some officials wanted to hold off while the Europeans negotiated with Iran to stay in bounds.

“Now that the Europeans have failed and the Iranians are engaged in nuclear blackmail, there’s no reason left to hold off.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6052239950001_6052234696001-vs GOP senators urge Trump to reject Iran's ‘nuclear blackmail,’ seek to ‘snapback’ sanctions at the UN fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/politics fnc ede746c0-f1b3-5000-8707-2b7c67be0da7 Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6052239950001_6052234696001-vs GOP senators urge Trump to reject Iran's ‘nuclear blackmail,’ seek to ‘snapback’ sanctions at the UN fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/politics fnc ede746c0-f1b3-5000-8707-2b7c67be0da7 Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw

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At least 40 killed after airstrike hits migrant detention center in Libya

An airstrike hit a detention center for migrants in the Libyan capital early Wednesday, killing at least 40 people, a health official in the country’s U.N.-supported government said.

The airstrike targeting the detention center in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighborhood also wounded 80 migrants, said Malek Merset, a Health Ministry spokesman. Merset posted photos of migrants being taken in ambulances to hospitals.

Westlake Legal Group AP19184088216570 At least 40 killed after airstrike hits migrant detention center in Libya SAMY MAGDY RAMI MUSA fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fnc/world fnc Associated Press article ae2bad6c-37d0-55d4-9fbd-ad6d14b0b3c2

Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura. (AP)

Footage circulating online and said to be from inside the migrant detention center showed blood and body parts mixed with rubble and migrants’ belongings.

The U.N. refugee agency in Libya condemned the airstrike on the detention center, which houses 616 migrants and refugees.

The Tripoli-based government blamed the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Hifter, for the airstrike and called for the U.N. support mission in Libya to establish a fact-finding committee to investigate.

A spokesman for Hifter’s forces did not immediately answer phone calls and messages seeking comment. Local media reported the LNA had launched airstrikes against a militia camp near the detention center.

HIFTER’S FORCES PUSH TOWARD LIBYAN CAPITAL CITY’S CENTER

The LNA launched an offensive against the weak Tripoli-based government in April. Hifter’s forces control much of Libya’s east and south but were dealt a significant blow last week when militias allied with the Tripoli government reclaimed the strategic town of Gharyan, about 62 miles from the capital. Gharyan had been a key LNA supply route.

Many camps for militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported government are in Tajoura, east of the city center, and Hifter’s forces have targeted such camps with airstrikes in recent weeks. The LNA said Monday it had begun an air campaign on rival forces in Tripoli after it lost control of Gharyan.

His forces include the remnants of Gadhafi’s army as well as tribal fighters and ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists. They appear more like a regular army than their adversaries, with uniforms and a clear chain of command.

Westlake Legal Group AP19184086341304 At least 40 killed after airstrike hits migrant detention center in Libya SAMY MAGDY RAMI MUSA fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fnc/world fnc Associated Press article ae2bad6c-37d0-55d4-9fbd-ad6d14b0b3c2

Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura. (AP)

Hifter’s forces boast MiG fighter jets supplied by neighboring Egypt, as well as drones, attack helicopters and mine-resistant vehicles. It was not immediately clear what munitions were used in the airstrike early Wednesday.

The fighting for Tripoli has threatened to plunge Libya into another bout of violence on the scale of the 2011 conflict that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi and led to his death.

Hifter says he is determined to restore stability to the North African country. He is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia while his rivals, mainly Islamists, are supported by Turkey and Qatar.

His campaign against Islamic militants across Libya since 2014 won him growing international support from world leaders who say they are concerned that Libya has turned into a haven for armed groups and a major conduit for migrants bound for Europe.

LIBYAN CAPITAL, UNDER SIEGE, GETS WATER BACK AFTER 2 DAYS

His opponents, however, view him as an aspiring autocrat and fear a return to one-man rule.

At least 6,000 migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and other nations are locked in dozens of detention facilities in Libya that are run by militias accused of torture and other abuses. Most of the migrants were apprehended by European Union-funded and -trained Libyan coast guards while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.

The detention centers have limited food and other supplies for the migrants, who made often-arduous journeys at the mercy of abusive traffickers who hold them for ransom money from families back home.

The U.N. refugee agency has said that more than 3,000 migrants are in danger because they are held in detention centers close to the front lines between Hifter’s forces and the militias allied with the Tripoli government.

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Libya became a major crossing point for migrants to Europe after the 2011 ouster and killing of Gadhafi, when the North African nation was thrown into chaos, armed militias proliferated and central authority fell apart.

Westlake Legal Group AP19184088216570 At least 40 killed after airstrike hits migrant detention center in Libya SAMY MAGDY RAMI MUSA fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fnc/world fnc Associated Press article ae2bad6c-37d0-55d4-9fbd-ad6d14b0b3c2   Westlake Legal Group AP19184088216570 At least 40 killed after airstrike hits migrant detention center in Libya SAMY MAGDY RAMI MUSA fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fnc/world fnc Associated Press article ae2bad6c-37d0-55d4-9fbd-ad6d14b0b3c2

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Iran says alleged US spies might face death penalty

Westlake Legal Group AP19177367863972 Iran says alleged US spies might face death penalty Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc f94ca64b-8564-5f5a-9428-ee37d82e738b article

Prosecutors in Iran are seeking the death penalty for several people who were arrested last year after allegedly spying on behalf of the U.S.

The suspects, accused of spying for the military and nuclear bodies, were arrested last August, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing state media.

IRAN SURPASSES URANIUM STOCKPILE LIMIT SET BY NUCLEAR DEAL

The Middle Eastern nation claims “tens of spies” in state bodies were taken into custody. A spokesperson reportedly said that an unclear number of suspects have been arrested in the last year, and face potential death sentences in military tribunals.

“Two of the defendants, who were not military, have received long prison terms,” the spokesperson, Gholamhossein Esmaili, added.

IRAN FIRES BACK AT WHITE HOUSE OVER CLAIMS IT HAS BEEN VIOLATING NUCLEAR DEAL FOR YEARS: ‘SERIOUSLY?’

Iran occasionally announces the detention of spies from foreign countries, including the U.S. and Israel.

In June, Iran state TV reported that Jalal Hajizavar, a former staff member of the Defense Military, was executed in a prison near Tehran for spying for the CIA.

The report claimed Hajizavar admitted in court that he was paid to spy for the CIA, and said the court sentenced Haizavar’s wife to 15 years in prison for her role in the espionage.

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In 2016, Iran executed a nuclear scientist convicted of spying for the U.S.

The announcement from state media comes after Iran said it surpassed its limit of low-enriched uranium stockpile that was agreed upon in the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19177367863972 Iran says alleged US spies might face death penalty Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc f94ca64b-8564-5f5a-9428-ee37d82e738b article   Westlake Legal Group AP19177367863972 Iran says alleged US spies might face death penalty Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc f94ca64b-8564-5f5a-9428-ee37d82e738b article

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White House: ‘Little doubt’ Iran was enriching uranium under Obama administration’s watch

President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday that Iran is “playing with fire,” hours after the country  effectively acknowledged that it was violating the terms of the 2015 multinational nuclear accord and threatened to pursue weapons-grade uranium as soon as July 7.

“No, no message to Iran,” Trump said. “They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with. And I think the’re playing with fire. So no message to Iran whatsoever.”

Earlier in the day, the semi-official Fars news agency in Iran cited an unnamed source as saying that U.N. inspectors had recently weighed Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium. According to the report, Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium was greater than the 660-pound limit set by the nuclear deal. The Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the deal more than a year ago.

In a terse written statement Monday, the White House said the development should have been foreseeable to the Obama administration “even before the deal’s existence.”

The White House also vowed to continue to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran to ensure that the country never obtains nuclear weapons, even as it worked to undo what it called the “mistake” of the previous administration.

While uranium enriched to 3.67 percent is usable for nuclear power plants, enrichment closer to 90 percent is needed for atomic weaponry. Separately, Iran has threatened to rapidly raise its uranium enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels starting on July 7 if Europe fails to offer it a new deal that provides economic relief.

IRAN SAYS LATEST TRUMP SANCTIONS END THE CHANNEL OF DIPLOMACY ‘FOREVER’

“The Iranian regime took action today to increase its uranium enrichment,’ the White House said in the statement. “It was a mistake under the Iran nuclear deal to allow Iran to enrich uranium at any level. There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-72cfcb48e33546699d3770e18e833ef9 White House: 'Little doubt' Iran was enriching uranium under Obama administration's watch Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 74ab0a8c-b03a-5230-ad08-092659f88128

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this past May that the country would exceed the nuclear deal’s limitations on stockpiling uranium. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP, File)

Tensions in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian forces shot down a U.S. drone last month, have escalated sharply in recent weeks, as crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have sent Iran’s economy into a tailspin. Some of the sanctions had been suspended under the nuclear deal.

Iran’s oil exports have more than halved since sanctions were reinstated and imposed last year, and the rial has lost approximately 60 percent of its value against the dollar. Additionally, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said inflation in Iran hit 31 percent in 2018, and could continue to rise. The IMF said Iran’s economy contracted by 3.9 percent in 2018, and in April forecast a massive economic contraction of as much as 6 percent this year.

After the drone shootdown, the Trump administration hit Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials with new sanctions. That prompted Iran’s Foreign Ministry to say diplomacy was permanently off the table. Iranian President Rouhani, speaking on television, also mocked the White House and said it is “afflicted by mental retardation.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the country’s decision to exceed stockpile limits on Monday was “reversible,” but he pleaded again for European countries to work to reduce the sanctions.

“Today, Iran has to stand against U.S. economic sanctions through domestic production and relying on national potentials,” Zarif said on state-run media.

“They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with. And I think the’re playing with fire.”

— President Trump

The White House statement, however, suggested no compromise.

“We must restore the longstanding nonproliferation standard of no enrichment for Iran,” the White House said. “The United States and its allies will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime will continue until its leaders alter their course of action. The regime must end its nuclear ambitions and its malign behavior.”

This past May, nuclear officials said Iran had quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran‘s atomic program, just hours after Trump and Iran’s foreign minister traded threats and taunts on Twitter.

Iranian officials made a point to stress that the uranium would be enriched only to the 3.67 percent limit set under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. But by increasing production, Iran steamrolled towards exceeding the stockpile limitations set by the accord.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Monday that Iran’s latest announcement continued a larger trend.

“Iran’s regime has taken new steps to advance its nuclear ambitions,” Pompeo said. “Once again, the regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security. The world’s top sponsor of terrorism can never be allowed to enrich uranium at any level.”

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In May, Pompeo revealed that Iran-backed missiles positioned rockets near American military bases in Iraq, prompting the State Department to order non-emergency personnel at the U.S. embassy and consulate there to leave the country.

Understanding how quickly low-enriched uranium could be weaponized is key to recognizing the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, experts have said. Enriching a supply of uranium means boosting its concentration of the type of uranium that can power a nuclear reaction.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah, Anna Hopkins and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6054346775001_6054339757001-vs White House: 'Little doubt' Iran was enriching uranium under Obama administration's watch Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 74ab0a8c-b03a-5230-ad08-092659f88128   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6054346775001_6054339757001-vs White House: 'Little doubt' Iran was enriching uranium under Obama administration's watch Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 74ab0a8c-b03a-5230-ad08-092659f88128

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US, India ‘working together’ amid Iran crisis, despite trade tensions

Despite growing disagreements over trade and tariffs, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss international cooperation amid the Iran crisis.

On Wednesday, Pompeo recognized the two countries’ differences while meeting with both Modi and foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi but made sure to emphasize that the countries must work together toward a common goal.

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-Jaishankar US, India 'working together' amid Iran crisis, despite trade tensions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state Fox News Staff fox news fnc/politics fnc article 1ba7e60a-8b0b-5b0b-b1fa-5995b208f454

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, listening to Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

The United States and India have shared a political and strategic common ground on Iran. Both countries have hit the rogue nation with economic penalties this year.

“I think that’s a concern to which Secretary Pompeo was certainly very, very receptive,” said Jaishankar. “I think he understands that this is today the world’s fifth-largest economy, which imports 85 percent of its energy, a large part of it from the Gulf.”

Pompeo praised India’s efforts in cutting oil from Iran, stating that Tehran “is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.”

He continued, “There’s a shared understanding of the threat and a common purpose to ensure that we can keep that energy at the right prices and this … terror regime poses to the entire world.”

Pompeo said the collaboration will strengthen bilateral ties.

“Great friends are bound to have disagreements,” Pompeo said after meeting with Jaishankar.

Jaishankar agreed, commenting the United States and India “need to filter through the noise and get down to the basics of the relationship.”

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President Trump is set to meet with Modi at the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, later this week. Hundreds of supporters of left-wing groups demonstrated in central New Delhi to protest Pompeo’s arrival in India and denounce American policies in the Middle East. 

Fox News’ Morgan Cheung and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6049581164001_6049576634001-vs US, India 'working together' amid Iran crisis, despite trade tensions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state Fox News Staff fox news fnc/politics fnc article 1ba7e60a-8b0b-5b0b-b1fa-5995b208f454   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6049581164001_6049576634001-vs US, India 'working together' amid Iran crisis, despite trade tensions fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state Fox News Staff fox news fnc/politics fnc article 1ba7e60a-8b0b-5b0b-b1fa-5995b208f454

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