Wednesday morning news: May 9, 2018

Iran says it will negotiate nuclear agreement without U.S. » Following President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday…

ROUHANI: Speaking in Persian

…his country will negotiate with the other countries in the deal.

ROUHANI: Speaking in Persian

Rouhani said he would send his foreign minister to the countries that remain, including Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia. But he said he would give them only a “short time” to come up with a solution.

But he also added a threat, saying “I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before.”

President Trump, meanwhile, during his Tuesday announcement issued a warning of his own.

TRUMP: Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States. Americ will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail.

The president said the U.S. will continue working with its allies to find a “real, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Reaction to President Trump’s announcement was predictably mixed. European leaders who tried to talk Trump out of scrapping the deal expressed disappointment, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lobbied against the nuclear pact, thanked the president.

NETANYAHU: Since the deal we’ve seen Iran aggression grow every day in Iraq, Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all, in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel.

In Washington, Republican leaders largely backed the move, while many Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president will likely regret it.

SCHUMER: You’re making it harder to go after Iranian activities that are really dangerous, and you’re probably making it harder to come to a North Korea deal. 

Pompeo in N.Korea, date and location set for summit » But the White House says quite the contrary! As the president announced his withdrawal from Iran deal, he said things are moving in the right direction for talks with North Korea.

TRUMP: At this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un.

The president said the two sides have chosen a time and location for the meeting, though that information is not yet public.

In addition to preparations for that meeting, Secretary Pompeo is also pressing North Korea for the release of three American prisoners. Pompeo first visited Pyongyang as CIA director last month.

This week Kim Jong Un made another unannounced visit to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was the second face-to-face meeting between the leaders in recent weeks.

During that meeting, Kim sent a message seemingly aimed at the U.S., that he is willing to denuclearize—quote—”as long as relevant parties eliminate the hostile policy and security threats” against Pyongyang.

Critics blast Sessions’ “zero-tolerance” announcement » Human rights groups are blasting an announcement Attorney General Jeff Sessions made this week when he declared a “zero-tolerance policy” on the southern border.

SESSIONS: If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. 

Sessions said the policy is designed to send a clear message:

SESSIONS: We are not going to let the country be overwhelmed. People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border. We need legality and integrity in our immigration system.

Sessions said, “We don’t want to separate families,” but he acknowledged that the policy may do just that. If families are caught crossing illegally, Border Patrol agents will refer parents for prosecution, and place children under the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Rights groups called the policy unnecessarily cruel. Amnesty International’s Erika Guevara-Rosas said criminalizing parents “who are only trying to keep their children from harm and give them a safe upbringing” will cause untold damage to already traumatized families fleeing terrible circumstances in their home countries.

Several states hold primary elections » Several states held primary elections on Tuesday and a few of the races decided could have big implications in the battle for control of the Senate later this year.

In Ohio, Congressman Jim Renacci won the Republican Senate primary.

RENACCI: Make Ohio first again and make America great again.

He’ll oppose Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown in the general election.

In Ohio gubernatorial races, Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine won their primaries, both hoping to replace outgoing Governor John Kasich.

In West Virginia, a half-dozen Republicans fought for a chance to oppose vulnerable incumbent Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin, in November. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey came out on top. That outcome, something of a win for the White House. President Trump waded into that race, urging GOP voters in the state to reject former coal executive Don Blankenship, who finished third.

In Indiana Republican Mike Braun (brawn) won a chance to challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly in the general.

BRAUN: His record is gonna be easy to flush out, and I intend to do that.

Also in Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence’s older brother Greg Pence won a GOP House primary.

I’m Jim Henry. Next up: Kent Covington dives into the latest news from the Environmental Protection Agency. And commentary from Janie Cheaney. This is The World and Everything in It.

(Iranian Presidency Office via AP) In this photo released by official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani addresses the nation in a televised speech in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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