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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and institute the "highest level" of sanctions against it during a statement at the White House on Tuesday — ahead of the May 12 deadline for a decision.

Be smart, from Axios' Jonathan Swan: Trump has never wavered on the Iran deal. He was convinced from the campaign that it was a “disaster” and “weak” — a poorly-negotiated contract by poor negotiators.

  • Trump went nuts at his national security team early last year when they didn’t present him options for total withdrawal. His appointment of the ultra-hawk John Bolton as his national security adviser left nobody in doubt about what he was going to do.
  • On Iran, members of his national security team have been frustrated that there’s little that connects his different impulses.
  • The real question: What does Trump do next? It’s not clear what the administration’s plan is for the day after exiting the Iran deal, and in some ways Trump is internally incoherent. Members of his national security team have been frustrated about Trump’s desire to withdraw US troops from Syria. They point out the contradiction: how can you want to be “tougher” on Iran when you appear willing to cede Syria to Iran?

What Trump said:

  • "If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their nuclear weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs."
  • To the people of Iran: "The people of America stand with you. It has now been almost 40 years since this dictatorship seized power and took a proud nation hostage."
  • "Great things can happen for Iran —  and great things can happen for the peace and stability we all want in the Middle East. There has been enough suffering, death, and destruction. Let it end now."

The timing: The U.S. Treasury is implementing a wind-down period for businesses currently engaged in business with Iran — and the sanctions will roll into place between 90 to 180 days from now.

The Iranian response:

President Hassan Rouhani spoke immediately after Trump, saying Iran would attempt to salvage the agreement without the U.S. If that attempt fails, though, he said: "I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before.”

  • The leaders of France, Germany and the U.K. released a joint statement, saying in part: we "will remain parties to the JCPoA. Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement."

Go deeper: What Iran and our European allies might do next.

Go deeper

Pfizer testing oral pill for prevention of COVID

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer announced Monday that it is testing an oral antiviral drug that would help prevent COVID-19.

Why it matters: This drug is one of several antiviral pills that could have a massive impact on coronavirus treatment since not everyone will get a vaccine, and it may take years to fully vaccinate people in certain countries, per Axios' Alison Snyder.

Scoop: Dems' sneaky sabotage

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A group tied to prominent Democratic strategists is posing as a conservative outfit to try to drive a wedge between the Republican candidate for Virginia governor and his core voters, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The state's gubernatorial race is expected to be tight and could be a national bellwether. As Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin's campaign hypes improving poll numbers, Democrats are trying to chip away at his support in GOP strongholds.

House coalescing around infrastructure deal

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is seen leaving a meeting of the House Democratic caucus on Monday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

House Democrats started Monday to coalesce around a deal to pass President Biden's signature Build Back Better infrastructure package, with progressive opposition weakening and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seeming to de-link the biggest components of it.

What they're saying: “We can’t be ready to say, 'Until the Senate passes the [$3.5 trillion reconciliation] bill, we can’t do BIF,'" the speaker told House Democrats, using shorthand for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. She indicated the House would vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill — focused on roads and bridges — on Thursday.