Feb 25, 2019

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announces resignation

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiations, resigned Monday via Instagram, Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed. Per NBC News, it is unclear if Iranian President Hassan Rouhani or Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will accept the resignation.

Why it matters: Zarif's resignation comes eight months after President Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the nuclear deal and less than a week after the UN's nuclear watchdog assessed that Iran is still in compliance with the terms of the deal. The other parties to the 2015 agreement — which include the U.S.' European allies, China and Russia — have remained committed to salvaging the deal, despite the Trump administration's re-introduction of sanctions against the Iranian regime.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.