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French President Macron at the joint Whit House press conference on April 24, 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At a joint news conference today, French President Emmanuel Macron said he and President Trump had agreed to work on a “new deal” that includes the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran but incorporates additional measures.

What to watch: The enlarged deal would contain three more “pillars”: assurances that Iran cannot reconstitute a large nuclear program after certain JCPOA restrictions expire in 2025; limits on Iran’s ballistic missile development and transfers of weapons to regional proxies; and diplomacy to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Trump did not confirm that he would renew sanctions waivers when the next deadline comes on May 12. He again excoriated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a “bad deal … [that] should never have been made." He would not commit to any course of action, saying “we’ll know fairly soon” what his decision will be. But he nodded as Macron spoke about a broader agreement and said that “we have very much in common” and that leadership required being “flexible.” The French president, who has developed the best rapport with Trump of any foreign leader, repeatedly put his hand on Trump’s arm as he outlined this broader approach.

Trump appears to be developing a new appreciation for allies in diplomatic and military affairs even if he continues to see U.S. regional intervention in largely transactional terms. Both Macron and Trump referred to France’s participation in rocket strikes against Syria after the regime there again used chemical weapons. This has helped cement a growing alliance with the United States.

Why it matters: Iran has threatened to leave the JCPOA and aggressively resume its uranium enrichment program if the U.S. does not renew sanctions waivers. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has also bitterly complained about what he sees as European efforts to appease a mercurial U.S. leader. But if the Macron charm offensive — augmented by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at week's end — works, Iran may also benefit.

Barbara Slavin directs the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
13 mins ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.

S&P 500 slides into correction territory

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their worst drop of the year, pushing the S&P 500 on track to fall into a "correction."

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading.