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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

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

6 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.