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President Trump (R) shakes hands withIsrael Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they meet in the Oval Office earlier this month. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told French and German foreign ministers who visited Jerusalem today that he predicts "with high probability" that President Trump is going to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on May 12th and urged the Europeans to agree to significant changes in the deal, Senior Israeli officials who attended the meetings told me.

Why it matters: The European powers — Germany, France and the U.K. — have been engaged in intense negotiations with the U.S. in an attempt to reach a formula that would save the Iran deal. The Europeans believe the chances of finding a formula which will satisfy Trump are very slim.

Netanyahu said changes will be needed to three parts of the deal to keep the U.S. from killing it:

  1. Sanctions on the Iranian ballistic missile program
  2. Inspections of suspicious sites in Iran
  3. A removal of the the "Sunset clause" which would start to lift limitations on the Iranian nuclear program in nine years

According to the Israeli officials Netanyahu told the European foreign ministers:

"We can debate whether it (U.S. withdrawal from the deal) is a good thing or a bad thing, but it is just the reality. Then you Europeans will have to choose between the small economy of Iran and the huge economy of the U.S."

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Netanyahu that the current deal is better than no deal. The Israeli officials said Netanyahu replied: "The Munich agreement from 1938 was also a deal. I also want to remind you what happened to the nuclear deal with North Korea."

French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian briefed Netanyahu on his recent visit to Tehran, saying he came back deeply disappointed and frustrated with the difficult position the Iranians presented regarding the European demands on the Iranian missile program and the Iranian activity in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, the Israeli officials said.

Update: White House spokesman Raj Shah was asked about this story during the daily press briefing and said, "The president thinks it is one of the worst agreements the United States has ever made internationally. If changes aren't made, the president is prepared to potentially withdraw from the agreement"

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
10 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say.