We're back! This edition comes to you from breezy Cape Cod. Back to stormy, humid D.C. tomorrow. Thanks to Shane Savitsky for steering the ship last week.
Iran's Supreme Leader leads prayers last month in Tehran. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Iran has followed through on its threat to enrich uranium beyond the purity limit set under the 2015 nuclear deal, the UN's nuclear watchdog confirmed today.
Why it matters: Iran is attempting to loosen its sanctions chokehold by demonstrating to the U.S. that there are costs to "maximum pressure," and to the deal's other signatories that, absent a stronger economic lifeline to Tehran, they could soon be facing a nuclear crisis.
The big picture: Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group, who recently met with Iranian officials, says the plan in Tehran after President Trump pulled out of the deal was to "hunker down and wait."
The European signatories want to deter further Iranian escalation while keeping the teetering deal from collapsing entirely.
What to watch: More significant breaches of the deal could make the European position untenable, and even lead to the re-imposition of sanctions. Each step also raises the chances of a military strike from the U.S. or Israel.
Darroch. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images
President Trump says his administration will "no longer deal" with Kim Darroch, the U.K. ambassador to Washington, after Prime Minister Theresa May expressed confidence in Darroch despite leaked cables in which he questioned Trump's competence.
Why it matters: As the ambassador to a top U.S. ally, Darroch meets regularly with senior officials in the Trump administration.
Context: Darroch, a highly regarded career civil servant, was due to leave Washington at the end of this year — his fourth in the post. Members of the Trump administration have been regularly spotted at events at the ambassador's residence.
Between the lines: The real surprise here isn't the contents of the private messages Darroch sent back to London, but the fact that they were leaked to the Mail on Sunday tabloid in the first place.
What to watch: Voting has begun among Conservative members, the 0.3% of British voters who will pick the next prime minister. Polls show Johnson with a whopping 50-point lead over Jeremy Hunt.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The Democratic presidential candidates have stark differences on a number of issues, but on foreign policy there are big changes they'd all be almost certain to make.
The big picture: Trump’s unusually cozy ties with Saudi Arabia and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his warm words for Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, and his adversarial relationships with allies are all ripe for course corrections from day one.
Of course, the debates that have raged in U.S. foreign policy for decades — when to use military force, whether to sign on to trade deals — will continue.
But, but, but: By the time Inauguration Day rolls around in 2021, it will be “too late to turn back the clock” on the most daunting challenges the U.S. faces, says Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Even if the next American president sends reassuring signals, rejoins this or that, there’s still now an element of doubt about U.S. policy. There’s no longer the presumption of continuity that there was, and there’s a sense in the world that if it happened once it can happen again.”
1. Alexis Tsipras, the leftist leader who swept to power in Greece four years ago promising to do battle with the EU, has conceded defeat to Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the center-right following yesterday’s elections.
2. Sudan’s military council will disband after a power-sharing deal reached last week with protesters is implemented, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the council’s leader, said in a televised address last night.
3. UNESCO accepted 29 applications from around the globe for World Heritage Site designation. Check them out.
Christine Lagarde is heading to Franktfurt. Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
While we were off last week, Ursula von der Leyen of Germany (Commission president), Christine Lagarde of France (central bank chief), Charles Michel of Belgium (Council president) and Josep Borrell of Spain (foreign policy chief) were picked for the EU’s top jobs.
My thought bubble on how this all went down:
What to watch: Von der Leyen, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s defense minister and stalwart ally, ticks a number of boxes as an experienced, polished, multilingual defender of the European project. However, she’s faced sharp criticism in her current job, and some argue she’s getting a major promotion not on merit, but because she has fewer enemies on the continent than other contenders.
Go deeper: My colleague Felix Salmon writes that Lagarde, the current IMF chief, is the ideal choice to lead the European Central Bank.
Confetti rains down on the victorious U.S. team at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, France. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
Congratulations to the U.S. Women's National Team and to Eric Judka, who won the Axios bracket challenge.
Migrants cross the Suchiate river from Guatemala into Mexico. Photo: Cristopher Rogel Blanquet/Getty Images
“Clearly the person has admitted that it was his voice, that he was the one who called me, that he was the one who said things that were inappropriate. Why can he just casually walk around, while I... am being punished?”— Nuril Maknun, an Indonesian woman who recorded a call from her boss as evidence of sexual harassment, and was then sentenced to jail for distributing obscene material (NYT).
Thanks for stopping by — see you Thursday!