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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

In a speech on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will lay out the Trump administration's new diplomatic path on Iran now that the President has withdrawn America from the nuclear deal.

What we're hearing: It's Pompeo's first foreign policy speech since taking over as Secretary. A source with direct knowledge of the speech gave me a snippet: "Iran advanced its march across the Middle East during the JCPOA... It did so with house money, with wealth created by the West... This will not continue."

  • A senior State Department official added: "We are welcoming ALL nations to join us in pushing back against Iran — our sanctions regime and our broader efforts welcome the participation of all countries. Certainly includes our allies in the Arab world, our European and Asian allies. Iran's threats extend globally, the response to their malign behavior should match that."

Between the lines: Per the same source with knowledge of the speech, "This type of speech is in line with President Trump's goal of 'going big' with foreign policy announcements and plans." That's how the President views the North Korea talks and the Iran restart.

The Europeans are skeptical about Pompeo's speech. To put it mildly.

  • A senior European official who's been privy to the high-level conversations tells me: "If it's what I hear, it's a winding up of the spin operation; bigger better Iran deal, Europeans coming on board, but Gulfies and Asia too. We like Pompeo, and he's proving much more pragmatic than some predicted, but there is a fundamental problem here..."

The fundamental problem: The major European powers — France, Germany and the U.K. — fought hard against Trump’s plan to withdraw from the nuclear deal. And now that he has, they're trying to figure out ways to keep the deal alive and help European firms continue to do business with Iran.

  • The Trump administration is betting that the Europeans will ultimately fold — and that a choice between doing business with Iran and the massive U.S. market is really no choice at all.
  • To bolster that theory, we're already seeing some firms, like France's Total, cancel anticipated contracts with Iran.

What's next for Iran ...

Most Iran experts I've spoken to are betting against a new Iran deal. They believe it's more likely that Trump follows through on his sanctions, the Europeans fold to some extent, and Iran begins making gradual steps back to developing its nuclear program.

  • The Iranians would likely start small — for example, boosting R&D spending — because doing anything aggressive would risk war with the U.S. Hassan Rouhani is surely familiar with John Bolton's 2015 New York Times Op-Ed "To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran."
  • The senior European official from the item above outlined another possible path forward to me: "There is a live and let live way through. It is that the Europeans stick with the JCPOA [the official name for the nuclear deal], the U.S. stay out but don't impose secondary sanctions on European companies, and we work together on ballistics and regional issues."

Go deeper

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

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GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

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Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.