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Tillerson at the press briefing. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Having just emerged from what he called an "open and candid exchange" with the parties to the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said President Trump had made up his mind about whether to walk away from the deal, but wouldn't tell the public or other world leaders yet. Taking questions from reporters, he repeatedly emphasized the "significant issues" Trump has with the pact.

"I think it's pretty difficult to say that the expectations of the parties who negotiated this agreement have been met. Perhaps the technical aspects have but in the broader context the aspiration has not."

  • One eyebrow-raising quote: "Prime Minister May [of the U.K.] asked him if he would share [his decision] with her and he said no."
  • On Trump's pronouncement that he's made up his mind: "I didn't know he was going to say today he made a decision. I knew he had."
  • Iran's violations of the "expectations" of the deal: "Since the agreement has been confirmed we have seen anything but a more peaceful, stable region." Tillerson cited Iran's cyber activity, missile tests and support for Bashar al-Assad.
  • On the current U.S. stance: "We expect Iran to fill its commitments, until that time we'll consider our commitments and the president has the matter under consideration."
  • On whether backing out of Iran would undermine attempts at a North Korea deal: "An agreement we would strike with North Korea would be of a very different nature."

The European stance: European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after the meeting that all parties agreed Iran is living up to the agreement, and that she didn't see any need for renegotiation.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 11 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.