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National Security Adviser John Bolton. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

National Security Adviser John Bolton will warn the Iranian regime that there will be "hell to pay" if they "continue to lie, cheat and deceive" or "cross" the U.S. and its allies, according to excerpts of the speech he's set to give later this afternoon.

Why it matters: Bolton’s speech, in which he’ll also declare the Iran deal "the worst diplomatic debacle in American history," contains some of the most aggressive and confrontational language we've seen from a U.S. administration in recent decades. Bolton has argued for military intervention in Iran in the past, and he warns in this speech: "We are watching, and we will come after you."

Between the lines: The contrast with America's European allies could not be greater. This aggressive speech comes just a day after the Europeans doubled down on their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal by announcing they would set up a special payment channel to allow European companies to keep dealing with Iran while ducking U.S. sanctions.

  • Per the WSJ: "EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made the announcement of a 'special purpose vehicle' jointly, in English and Farsi, after a meeting at the U.N. of the parties still committed to the deal — Iran, EU, U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China."
  • Consider the optics: Bolton tells Iran "we will come after you" just a day after the Europeans did a joint appearance with the Iranians to emphasize their commitment to the nuclear deal that Trump trashed and dramatically exited earlier this year.

Highlights from Bolton's speech, according to excerpts obtained by Axios:

  • "According to the mullahs in Tehran, we are 'the Great Satan,' lord of the underworld, master of the raging inferno. So, I might imagine they would take me seriously when I assure them today: If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be HELL to PAY."
  • "The Iran Deal was the worst diplomatic debacle in American history. It did nothing to address the regime’s destabilizing activities or its ballistic missile development and proliferation. Worst of all, the deal failed in its fundamental objective: permanently denying Iran all paths to a nuclear bomb."
  • "The ayatollahs have a choice to make. We have laid out a path toward a bright and prosperous future for all of Iran, one that is worthy of the Iranian people, who have long suffered under the regime’s tyrannical rule."
  • "The United States is not naïve. We will not be duped, cheated, or intimidated. The days of impunity for Tehran and its enablers are over. The murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behavior. Let my message today be clear: We are watching, and we will come after you."

The Other Side: Tony Blinken, deputy secretary of state under President Obama, told me: "The big question is whether the Iranians will stick with their obligations under the deal and try to wait out President Trump or whether the new sanctions and lack of economic benefit will give hard-liners the argument to restart the nuke program."

  • "If so, we’ll eventually be right back at the bad binary choice between allowing Iran to have a nuclear breakout capacity or attacking them to stop it with all the risks each entails. That’s exactly the dilemma the deal solved."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.