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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

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.