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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking to foreign embassies and diplomatic mission representatives of Iran on Sunday. Photo: Iranian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday issued a stern warning to President Trump against provoking Tehran through sanctions, telling Trump that "America should know ... war with Iran is the mother of all wars," Reuters reports.

“Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret"
— Rouhani says, per Reuters, citing state new agency IRNA.

The backdrop: This comes as Iran faces impending sanctions after Trump in May withdrew the U.S. from a 2015 deal, under which the country has scaled back its nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief.

  • Meanwhile, U.S. officials told Reuters that the Trump administration has launched combative efforts to paint Iranian leaders in a negative light. Current and former officials also reportedly said the campaign is exaggerated or contradicts other official assertions, including statements made by previous administrations.
  • Rouhani's remarks come amid reports that Washington is seeking to destabilize Iran’s Islamic government, Reuters reports. But the leader left open the possibility of peace between both countries.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."