Mike Pompeo on May 31, 2019 in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday the Trump administration is willing to talk to Iran "with no preconditions," but that the U.S. does not currently plan to end sanctions or other forms of its maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have been ratcheting up for weeks, with military intervention briefly on the table at the direction of national security adviser John Bolton. Trump, however, says he opposes war and has long favored direct negotiations with leaders of belligerent countries, such as North Korea. Pompeo appears to have fallen in line with Trump's view and is currently meeting with the foreign minister of Switzerland, which has represented U.S. interests and diplomacy in Iran in the past.

The other side: Iran President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the country would be willing to talk to the U.S. if it showed some "respect," but that Iran would not be "bullied" into negotiations, Reuters reports. The UN's atomic watchdog also said Saturday that Iran remains in compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew the U.S., but raised red flags for the first time about its increased centrifuge activity.

Go deeper: Read Axios' special report on the multiplying global threats the U.S. faces

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden has huge cash advantage over Trump as Election Day nears

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month, as campaigning enters the final stretch ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.