MIDDLE EAST

The Trump administration is making plans to "prod" and "cajole" U.S. allies to stop doing business with Iran, a senior State Department official told NPR on Wednesday.

Andrew Peek, who oversees State Department affairs relating to Iran, spoke the morning after President Trump announced that he was withdrawing the United States from its 2015 agreement with Iran limiting its nuclear program and that he was reviving sanctions on Iran.

Updated at 6:36 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Tuesday that he has decided to exit a 2015 multinational agreement in which Iran agreed to limit its production of nuclear weapons material.

"I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal," Trump said.

He said the U.S. will reimpose economic sanctions that were lifted as part of the U.S. commitments made in the deal.

President Trump says he will announce Tuesday whether he is going to keep the U.S. in the Iran nuclear deal. This comes after Trump has allowed the deal to stay in place through the first 15 months of his presidency while frequently criticizing it and threatening to pull the U.S. out of it.

Inspectors haven't yet been able to access the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria that prompted a U.S.-led coalition to launch airstrikes against suspected Syrian chemical sites on Friday. And the parties involved are trading blame about why.

The U.S., France and the U.K. targeted chemical weapons sites in Syria early Saturday. Since the launch of more than 100 missiles, a war of words has ensued.

Updated at 2:01 p.m. ET

More than 100 missiles were launched early Saturday morning by the U.S. and its allies France and the U.K., targeting three chemical weapons sites in Syria. The mission, according to Pentagon officials, has "significantly crippled" Syrian President Bashar Assad's ability to manufacture chemical weapons. No casualties have been reported.

Russian officials condemned the U.S.-led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace."

The U.S., U.K. and France carried out the strikes in the early morning hours on targets that U.S. officials said were linked to a Syrian government chemical weapons program. The strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on April 7.

Faced with the threat of U.S. military action and prodded by longtime ally Russia, Syria declared in September 2013 — two years into its civil war — it had ratified the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention banning the production, storage and use of chemical weapons.

A letter from Syrian President Bashar Assad sent at the time to the United Nations' then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised that Syria would immediately comply with its CWC obligations.

Updated at 2:03 a.m. ET Saturday

The U.S., Britain and France carried out airstrikes early Saturday against three sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week by President Bashar Assad's regime.

As the Trump administration evaluates potential military operations against Syria, the White House has declined to explain why it believes it has the legal authority to conduct them without authorization from Congress.

But the White House does have a secret seven-page memo that may make the case.

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