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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

While Rex Tillerson was a top executive at ExxonMobil, the company made sales in 2003, 2004, and 2005, to Iran, Syria, and Sudan, all of which were under U.S. sanctions for sponsoring terror groups. The total sales to Iran added up to $53.2 million.

Context: A European corporation, Infineum, conducted the sales, but ExxonMobil owned a 50% share of the company at the time, but "no United States person is involved in those business transactions," according to Richard Gutman, ExxonMobil's assistant general counsel at the time.

Why this matters: Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are likely to put turn the focus to these deals come Tillerson's Wednesday confirmation hearing.

Go deeper

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Patch, the hyperlocal (and profitable) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of journalists going solo via newsletters at the national level.

Scoop: Politico stars plot new Playbook

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three of Politico’s biggest reporting stars plan to launch a competitor to the company’s Politico Playbook franchise, sources tell me. 

Why it matters:  Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan will launch a daily newsletter in 2021 as a stand-alone company, the sources say. In effect, they will be competing against the Playbook franchise they helped create and grow. 

Ben Geman, author of Generate
32 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Big Oil's big reckoning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There doesn't seem to be an oil major that's got it all figured out between the pandemic, cloudy demand and price outlooks, and the unknown path through a world getting a bit more serious about climate.

Driving the news: ExxonMobil yesterday afternoon showed the latest signs of its struggle to position itself as it announced large write-offs and a big rethink of long-term spending.