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Photo: Rick Loomis/Getty Images

The first half of the Trump administration's new Iran sanctions strategy will kick in on Monday, restoring sanctions on any entity trading with Iran in gold, steel, aluminum, coal and other minerals and metals. The Trump administration will also restore sanctions on the Iranian automotive industry and on the issuing of Iranian debt or "significant" trade in Iranian currency.

Why this matters: Trump is moving ahead with his Iranian version of "maximum pressure" — though the end game, beyond a hope of unprecedented behavior change or regime collapse, remains unclear. These sanctions represent the first substantive move by the Trump administration after its May 8 withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

  • Trump is applying extreme stress to the Iranian economy, large European companies have been leaving Iran, and the value of the Iranian rial has been falling.

What's next? Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told me: "Reimposing these sanctions is the first step towards tightening the noose on Tehran, putting the regime to a choice between continuing its malign activities or improving its economy..."

  • "These penalties will lay the groundwork for heavier sanctions, such as oil sanctions, which will return in early November."

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.