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Photo: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) and U.S. President Trump Photo: Jim Watson/Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he's open to meeting with President Trump, but only if crippling U.S. sanctions are lifted first, reports AP.

Why it matters: The statement comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said at the G7 that he plans to arrange a meeting between the two leaders in the coming weeks. Rouhani yesterday expressed interest in meeting Trump, but returned today to the insistence that the U.S. remove its crippling economic sanctions if it wants to de-escalate tensions.

"If someone intends to make it as just a photo op with Rouhani, that is not possible. If I knew that going to a meeting and visiting a person would help my country’s development and resolve the problems of the people, I would not miss it"
— Rouhani

The big picture: At his press conference with Macron, Trump said there's a "good chance"' he and Rouhani would meet soon, but didn't mention lifting sanctions. His "maximum pressure" Iran policy has received international criticism as European countries work to salvage the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.

What's next: If Trump and Rouhani do meet, it'll be the first face-to-face meeting between an Iranian and American president since the Iran hostage crisis nearly 40 years ago, per the New York Times. Barack Obama spoke with Rouhani by phone in 2013.

Go deeper

Updated 39 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO: SEC lawsuit is "bad for crypto" in the U.S.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by U.S. regulators, it would put the country at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Between the lines: The SEC in December sued Ripple, and Garlinghouse personally, for allegedly selling over $1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple's response is that its cryptocurrency, called XRP, didn't require registration because it's an asset rather than a security.